Sabbaticals: Say goodbye to stress and embrace life!
Time is money, and money is scarce
In the age of smartphones and social media, it's becoming harder and harder to take the time to disconnect and “unplug” from daily working life – even during our holidays. A two week break from work seems a waste if the remaining 50 weeks are full of constant stress.
This is why we are seeing more and more employees aspire to escape from the daily grind to realise and fulfil their deep aspirations, whether that might be to travel the world or catch-up with long-distanced friends. At the moment, very few people have the courage to take action and follow their dreams, but the number is growing, and employers need realise and support their employees on their life-long goals.
The demand for flexible working is on the rise – recent research found that 75% of UK employees favour flexible working, saying that it makes their job more appealing. But sometimes, having flexible options isn’t enough for employees to detox from work life and achieve a life-long goal of theirs, so employers need to offer more.
Disconnecting from work life
Sabbatical leave has become widely recognised within the workplace and many companies have accepted and encouraged the scheme. Sabbatical schemes vary depending on the company, but the usual process involves employees taking an extended leave from work, which could be up to six months, whilst keeping their employment contract, so ideally, they can resume to their former position after the end of their leave.
Some employers will fund sabbaticals if they feel it would benefit the business and employee retention. For example, Epic employees are offered 4-week sabbatical trips every five years of their employment which the company help to fund. Other companies like Deloitte give employee’s the option of one, three or six months sabbatical leave which can be combined with PTO.
A recruiting technique
Offering sabbaticals to your employees is an attractive benefit for new recruits, especially younger hires, as a good work life balance is often a top priority for young professionals. So, during the recruiting process, it might be a good idea to mention that your company offers sabbatical programmes in the job description or during an interview with a candidate. That way, future recruits will know they have the opportunity to take time off and fulfil their life-long goals in the future.
Let us be clear - all generations today, recognise that taking a sabbatical is no longer likely to endanger a career, in fact, it is likely to enhance a career and encourage your employees to view the world and working life differently. For companies, of course, it can require additional management effort, but it is worth it: relaxed and happy employees will ultimately be more motivated and effective.