Overworked and overstressed employees may need more than a couple extra days off each year. Enter: the sabbatical. Companies are offering new types of sabbaticals in hope of battling burnout. Will it help?
What else matters this week?
COP26 started this week, and among the many commitments and challenges being discussed this week, one element stands out: money. According to Reuters, progress on climate finance – or money that richer nations give to poorer nations to help them cut emissions – could make or break the summit’s success.
A new report on tech salary trends shows companies need to change their approach to hiring if they truly want to attract top talent for high-demand roles.
Winning the fight against climate change may require working less, argues Simon Kuper in the Financial Times.
We’ve got a full breakdown of all the top headlines you can’t miss this week.
#1. Sabbaticals are on the rise to help retain workers. Can they battle burnout?
It all started with some extra time off.
After all, burnout might be the new worker pandemic. Thirty four percent of women said mental wellbeing has worsened over the past month, our research shows. It’s even worse for younger leaders: 54% of young leaders report that they have experienced burnout, the same group who shoulder significant responsibility for future progress.
But growing evidence of exhausted workers is prompting some companies to go even further: months-long sabbaticals, according to a report in Forbes. Synchrony Financial is the most recent company to introduce a new benefit set to take effect in 2022: the option to apply for a sabbatical of up to one year away, at reduced pay. The announcement comes after Citigroup’s 12-week sabbatical for employees with five-year tenures. PriceWaterhouseCoopers offers one- to six-month leaves of absence at 20% pay.
“We’re not going to limit it to just caregiving situations or the old-style sabbatical of sailing a boat around the world,” says Aaron Brown, Synchrony Financial’s senior vice president of total rewards. “People want the time—people need the time—for a variety of reasons. We don’t want to lose the connection to them.”