Time is the New Currency


How many times a day, a week do you hear or say, “I just don’t have enough time,” or “There aren’t enough hours in the day,” or “If only I had the time to …” The world is getting progressively faster and everyone is busy. There was even a period where “busy-ness” was the measurement of success or importance. People wore their lack of time with a sense of pride… “Look at how busy I am, I have no time… I must be very busy and important!” 

Increasingly, more so as millennials influence the work place, we are seeing a swing in the other direction. Time, or more importantly time to do the things you want, need or have a passion for, is a sign of success. Time has become a commodity.

In the world of recruitment, we are seeing more people willing to trade time for less money, no promotion or lack of a bonus. Employers are offering time as part of the negotiation when money isn’t possible or in some cases money isn’t the answer.

What does time as currency look like to an employer or employee?

  • Flexible Working Hours

Whether this is flexible working hours or location, flexibility can be worth far more than a few extra thousand dollars a year. Flexible working hours will help people avoid peak hour traffic, do school drop off or make it to that school play. Companies are even considering 9 day fortnights and 4 day weeks to make them more attractive to top talent.

  • Time to Learn and to Develop

This can be a win-win situation for employers and employees alike. Time to complete study, attend professional development or networking courses or have access to a career coach, benefits everyone. Giving employees the opportunity to attend networking events is advantageous to both the organization and employee, growing business opportunities and your employer brand. Further study and professional development increases expertise within an organisation and career coaching can build your team into future leaders. Win-win for everyone.

  • Flexible Location

According to Ford’s new commuter calculator, the average Australian’s commute, spread out over their working life equates to 1.1 years of travelling… that’s 417 days spent traveling to and from work! How much would getting some of this time back be worth? The world is becoming a smaller and smaller place, there is no longer need to all be in the same office all the time to still be a productive and unified team. Options for working from home or remotely some days – or even all the time – offers employees flexibility, but also opens up a much wider talent pool for employers. Why limit yourself by location!?

  • Time to Give Back

With the growing trend of ‘wanting to give back’, volunteering brings a “feel good” factor and a sense of purpose, both of which can alleviate stress. A day each month or quarter volunteering with a cause staff are passionate about, or a charity with which the company is affiliated, helps align company and staff values, as well as doing good for the world.

  • Time for Mindfulness

Over the years, corporate wellness programs have flourished – and with a greater emphasis on total wellbeing, organisations are pressured to be creative in their offerings and encourage employees to take the time out to practice mindfulness. Ten minutes out of the work day is said to depreciate stress and anxiety, along with increasing productivity.

For employers who are unable to use bonuses, promotions or other traditional (money based) incentives to attract or retain staff, time can be the new carrot! Offering your team time can keep them engaged and happy in the work place, which in turn leads to greater productivity and success.

As an employee considering a new role, or even your current role, think carefully about how much time is worth to you. That extra day at home, or the opportunity to study or volunteer may be worth far more than money.

So think about it… what is time worth to you?