Side projects liberate you
No matter what your goal – learning a new technology, making some money, achieving something in an area you care about – side projects are liberating. In an era where we are all increasingly obligated to do what other people want (who else is going to deliver work projects, pay the bills, do the school run, and generally make sure the wheels don't fly off?) side projects are a chance to do something just for yourself. They give you agency, self-belief and happiness.
Side projects help your employer
A technical side project also helps your employer. Here's a list of what they get out of it: share it with them to encourage them to support you in your efforts.
- Staff retention The best employment perks are those that money can’t buy. Time for staff to work on their own project and skills development is invaluable and makes you stand out from other employers.
- Good use of dead time Nobody gets anything done on a Friday afternoon. Reclaim this time for productivity!
- Source of creativity and innovation Given free rein, people come up with all sorts of interesting ideas. Use side projects to test out innovations, new skills and new directions, before committing budget to them at work.
- Staff-led, free, self-managed training As well as requiring no oversight or budget, Friday afternoon side project sessions often inspire a level of enthusiasm to continue into the weekend. As an employer, you get a lot of staff skills training for a very small investment.