Thanksgiving is one day away, which means that the holiday shopping season is just around the corner.

Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) is the busiest online shopping day of the year. In 2016, shoppers spent $3.45 billion on Cyber Monday alone. Many retailers take advantage of this with incredible sales. Because of the popularity, many business owners are left wondering how to manage the impact of Cyber Monday on their workplaces. You will see countless articles about the cost of lost productivity on this particular day, but we have a slightly different perspective.

Director of People Strategy at Helpside, Amber Hunter, suggests looking at this day as an opportunity rather than a challenge. Employees do personal things often at work, from paying a bill online, to making a doctor’s appointment to sharing a funny story with colleagues. This is what gives our offices and organizations personality. Offering this little bit of flexibility allows us as leaders and small business owners to distinguish ourselves from the competition by truly embracing the well-versed concept of work-life balance. We know our team members have a life outside of work, and they also have a life inside of work.

Set expectations and then allow employees a little bit of freedom. Rather than police Cyber Monday (which no small business owner really wants to spend their time doing), turn it into a fun, celebration at work. Consider granting employees 30 minutes to shop online and then have employees share what deals they found. You could even turn it into a competition to see who got the best deal.

You could also look at this as an opportunity to reward employees for their hard work. Many businesses are very busy this time of year. Let employees know you see how hard they are working and you want to allow them a little 30-minute online shopping break for Cyber Monday.

As small business leaders we need to make sure that we are looking for opportunities to create the employee experience. When you allow employees flexibility in their workday, they will be more willing to give your organization the same flexibility when facing a major deadline. The more you embrace these kinds of things in the work place rather than resist them the more likely you are to attract and retain great talent.

If you decide to try it this year, let us know how it goes. Email us and or share on our Facebook page.