To minimize employee wear and tear, if an out-of-town job spills over from Friday to Monday for an Electronic Liquid Fillers Inc. employee, he gets an extra week's pay for spending the weekend in the city of the job site. CEO Jim Ake figures the expense is incidental when the payoff is having a refreshed employee on the job at 7:00 a.m. Monday morning.

Six to eight times a year each member of Ake's 33 bottling machine sales and installation staff spends weekends working away from the $11-million LaPorte, Ind., company. "Given the choice between flying back and forth or staying over, 9 times out of 10 they'll stay over," says Ake, who would just as soon see the money saved on the plane ticket -- usually about a week's pay -- go into the employee's pocket.

"They're on the road so much that it's not the kind of policy that's abused," says Ake. "But they do appreciate it."