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October 3, 2017

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Why more tech workers should take sabbaticals

 

 

Editor's Comments:  I love the concept of sabbaticals being offered within the workplace!  I think that we will see this being offered on a broader basis as Generation Z enters the workplace.  

They were born between the mid-1990s to the early 2000s and are 72.8 million strong. They are the first true digital generation and grew-up with smart phones.  According to David & Jonah Stillman, co-authors of Gen Z @ Work: How the Next Generation Is Transforming the Workplace (HarperBusiness, 2017).  They put money and security at the top of their list. They want to make a difference but surviving and thriving are more important. They prefer face-to-face communication and have an entrepreneurial spirit.  They love multi-tasking. Money and benefits are important to them and this gives savvy employers an opportunity to be creative by offering programs such as sabbaticals and job rotations to keep them with the company.  

 

This opens up the option of a sabbatical as a tactic to help employees refresh, renew and recharge!  

 

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In 2016, researcher Statistic Brain reported that 48% of Americans said that stress was having a negative effect on their personal and professional lives, 31% said they were having difficulty managing the responsibilities their professional and personal lives, and 30% said they are under constant stress at work. The researcher projected a cost of $300 billion annually for companies that was due to employee stress.

 

Employers are not unaware of these on-the-job stress factors that can ultimately lead to burnout. Some offer stress management and burnout prevention programs 

 

But there is yet another approach to burnout management and even prevention that has historically been practiced in academia, and that companies are now entertaining: the idea of offering employees (including managers) a sabbatical away from work so they can "get away" altogether and do something else.

 

Zillow, an online real estate company, has adopted the approach with a sabbatical program that offers employees who have been with the company at least six years the opportunity to take a six-week sabbatical at half salary and full health benefits.

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