More and more people are getting into the conversations of burnout and the “Great Resignation” as it’s being called. With increased pressure in the workplace, people are realizing how exhausting the current system is and how it pushes people to their limits.
Most people spend a considerable amount of their entire lives at work, and it is simply proving to be too much. People are quitting their jobs because of burnout. In such a time, as an employer, it can be very difficult to keep your workers happy. Even increased pay cannot in some cases help.
In this era of burnout, some companies are experimenting with a sabbatical or an extended period of break where the employee can take some well-earned time off. The idea of a sabbatical is nothing new and has been around for a while. But it is only now that companies are beginning to take this thing seriously.
Companies like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. provide sabbaticals of six weeks without any payment to employees that have worked with them for at least 15 years. Other companies choose to even offer paid sabbaticals if they can afford to. The tech company, Adobe Inc. has ingrained sabbaticals in their work culture for a while now, and they’re very effective.
A prolonged break like a sabbatical allows employees to relax, and get their priorities straight. Often a small break of two or three days isn’t enough to get over burnout.
You have to realize that burnout is a serious mental issue, and it’s not just a trend. Once you are burnt out, your productivity levels will decrease significantly. Especially in lines of creative work, it can be very difficult to carry on work. Maybe in a desk job where you have to do the same menial activity day after day, you can push through even with burnout.
But in this age of automation, a lot more jobs require human creativity and ideas. If you work at a tech firm, for instance, you need creative solutions for your problems. And if your brain is exhausted, it can’t churn out great ideas anymore.
This is why companies like Adobe encourage sabbaticals. Yes, it can have financial drawbacks for a company, especially if it’s paid. However, Mr. Dakin, the director of engineering at Adobe, believes the benefits of a sabbatical far outweigh the costs. Employees come back refreshed, and more productive and have increased morale and knowledge, which is great for work.
When you spend hours at work and even bring it home it starts to become your entire identity. And that is what eventually leads to burnout. This is why a break can be a way to rediscover yourself and find who you are and what you like.
Employees can use their sabbatical in any way they want, and some people do choose to quit their jobs after a sabbatical as well. There is always that risk of losing employees, however, with this time to think and set their goals straight, those who do come back will be working with the company for the right reasons.
Overall, this proves beneficial for everyone involved. When someone takes a sabbatical, the rest of the team members have to pick up the work. They understand how crucial each member is to the team and therefore can respect them more.
Whether you’re an employee or an employer this is one conversation you need to get on board with. Have you ever thought of taking a sabbatical, or are you against the idea completely? Share your thoughts with us at the Age Brilliantly Forum and register to join the movement and discuss these pressing issues.
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