#OWS

My One Month Sabbatical

I’ve decided to call September a sabbatical. If you haven’t noticed, I certainly like labeling and/or categorizing just about everything. My posts here often reflect this need. It was difficult, but during this September sabbatical I took a step back from this beloved website. In fact, I didn’t post at all.

This does have some topical relevance, actually. Gawker (which operates behemoth sports blog Deadspin) has a new sabbatical policy. And, it’s rather awesome. Here is the leaked internal Gawker memo via BI:

Sabbatical Policy
We strive to be a company that allows employees to enjoy tenures longer than your average company’s. But longer than average tenures demand better than average paid time off policies.
 
Earlier this year, we stopped formally tracking paid time off centrally. But sometimes — say, after four years of continuous employment — you need a longer break.
 
Today we announce our Sabbatical Policy: after four years of continuous employment, employees are eligible for one month paid time off. (If an employee waits until their fifth year of service, they are eligible for five weeks off. And six weeks at six years, etc.) Employees must work with their Managers to agree on specific timing and coverage, and ultimately sabbaticals need to be approved by the Company — but it’s our intention to give those who have worked with us for many years time for a proper break.
The sabbatical has always intrigued me. It’s a staple in academia. My interest in the sabbatical might stem from there — I’ve always thought professor to be a fantastic career. Yes, it’s a lot of hard work (but so are many jobs). In academia working hard might get you acclaim, good pay and benefits, summers off and, of course, sabbaticals. Oh, and, tenure. That’s right — they can’t give you the boot! On the other hand, working hard in corporate often gets you only a small portion of these perks. What gives?!

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To some people the sabbatical is nothing more than a big chunk of forced PTO (paid time off). However, if you want to make the most of it, the sabbatical can be a transformative experience.
Although still rare, the idea of a sabbatical in corporate America is growing. Vistaprint offers a similar sabbatical benefit to the one described above. Vistaprint’s sabbatical is one month of PTO after 5 years of service to the organization. Many people who take a corporate sabbatical dedicate a large portion of their time off to a charitable cause. This is the type of initiative that can really swing the work-life balance pendulum in the correct direction. Organizations should want employees to have a proper work-life balance. It’s my experience that happy employees are more productive employees. If my hypothesis is correct, I should start posting some absolutely killer content now. Ready, set, go.
Editor’s Note: And then WordPress makes an entire post one paragraph and I want to go on sabbatical. Our apologies for the awful formatting on this post.