Dear Someone Else’s Dad,
I’m a 50-something with a busy solo consulting practice. My only employee is a very diligent young worker who surprises me with demands that seem out of line. For example, since I travel a lot, my employee has to spend time alone in the office. I recently received a request to pay a monthly fee for a space in a shared office so my employee can feel “less lonely.” I responded by saying I often get a change of pace and sit at a (FREE) coffee shop to get work done, but the request now became a monthly allowance for coffee.
I’m not a cheapskate, but should I pay up to keep my employee “less lonely?”
Well I AM a cheapskate. I find the best change of pace for me to get work done is to sit in a nice comfy hotel lobby lounge with FREE WiFi. Doesn’t make me less lonely, even though there’s often good people-watching.
Here’s an idea. Let’s look at it as a transfer of funds. Giving your employee a monthly coffee allowance could replace the money you would be spending on coffee you have in the office that both of you wouldn’t be drinking when you’re away. The funds transfer would benefit both of you if there’s a strong chance your employee would be more productive around other people.
Someone Else’s Dad