september 1989

Clay Teramo is a believer in giving employees paid time off to do volunteer work. Though he's still in the process of measuring whatever productivity gains may have resulted from the policy, Teramo says seeing the improvement in morale is enough for him. His $2.7-million company, Computer Media Technology (CMT), in Mountain View, Calif., has 13 employees; on average, one person a week takes an afternoon to volunteer. "We don't want to just give our money away -- it's so easily forgotten. And we miss out on the intangible rewards. Volunteering helps keep work from becoming a grind," Teramo says.

For employees who don't have a favorite charity, the company posts a list of local organizations, such as a soup kitchen and a home for the elderly, with a note asking people to give advance notice if they want to help out. "I see it as a win-win situation," says Teramo, who volunteers his own sales and marketing skills for fund-raisers.