Thursday, May 6, 2010

Daylighting with "Alternative" Financing (PTO)

I tried to persuade my management to consider a daylighting experiment in our office. A small area covering around 18 workers' desks would require ten 21" solatubes to achieve a minimum 25 ft-candle illumination level. Total estimate ~$16.5k.
Among other reasons for not proceeding (e.g. it wouldn't be fair to everyone else, we've looked at ROI and electricity savings would be marginal, etc...) , no budget had been set aside for this kind of thing.

$16.5k is in the rounding error for the finances of a company the size of where I work, but assuming that it was not, is there another to pay for it? What about Paid Time Off (PTO) hours? Would employees be willing to give up a certain number of accrued hours to fund daylighting? It certainly seems more likely than asking them to give up cash to do it. Especially if you have a substantial  PTO balance and little prospect of using it all in the near future. PTO is a bit like funny money that way.

If I assume that those PTO hours are worth ~$48/ea ($200k/yr*employee with half as salary and half as benefits and taxes which must be paid), that means each employee would need to give up ~19 hours to fund the project.

Two and a half days in exchange for improved mood and productivity for years to come.
Sounds like a trade you could convince many people to make.