What is a Short-Term Sabbatical?
Work is exhausting– need we say more? 40 or more hours per week for years on end can really take a toll on even the most energetic worker. But there is some good news for burnt-out employees: recently, many companies are embracing short-term sabbaticals to help their workers recharge.
While short-term sabbaticals’ namesake refers to months-long breaks from work often undertaken by professors and other academics, their short-term cousins are merely vacations of a different color. Trendy business owners and bosses are simply attaching the title of “sabbatical leave” to what is, for all intents and purposes, a typical vacation from work. Nonetheless, the rebranding could make a critical difference to American employees (who are typically gun-shy about taking extended time off).
The Journal of Applied Psychology published a study in 2010 that linked long-term sabbaticals (six months or more) to lower stress levels. Cognizant of the positive impacts of taking a break from work, employers have begun toying around with shorter, more time-efficient sabbaticals. The results have varied; short sabbaticals can also help employees unwind, but the effects are, predictably, shorter-lived.
The benefits have proven to outweigh the costs for a number of well known businesses, though. Many companies are quite serious in adopting sabbaticals into their corporate policy, some going so far as to require that their employees take a break from work. Birchbox co-CEO Katia Beauchamp started a “tribbatical” program this year for employees who have been working at the company three years or longer. An abridged version of the classic sabbatical, Birchbox’s “tribbatical” is a three-week vacation for employees to which the company contributes $750.
How to Implement Short-Term Sabbaticals
The Motley Fool begins their off-time incentive even earlier. Employees with a year or more of tenure are eligible to “win” a monthly drawing for a two-week break from work. The catch: the two weeks must be consecutive, and they must be taken within 4 weeks of the drawing. There is also a $1,000 prize, though in some cases that is not enough of an incentive to convince an employee to take the prize.
No matter what particular scheme you choose to implement, your small businesses can and should incorporate downtime policies that make sense for your business model and staff size. Though they face more challenges in covering work for employees on leave due to their limited resources, small businesses can take advantage of offering short-term sabbaticals to its staff members. Offering longer leave periods earlier in an employee’s tenure can increase their investment in the company and make them competitive with their industrial counterparts.
If your small business’s employees could use a little time away but you’re not sure the budget can handle it, consider small business factoring. Factor Finders offers a variety of small business factoring options that will boost your cash flow and allow you to give your employees the time off from work that they need. Remember– a well rested staff is a more productive staff. Contact Factor Finders today to learn more about small business factoring and request a free quote.