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Culture calendar    Aug 17, 2023

A Time to Rest

Companies want employees to balance work, life, and prioritize their mental health. As a result the idea of good "rest" has become increasingly important. So why don't more businesses require it?

As we move into our professional lives and out of the rigorous and regimented schedules and rhythms of the school system, we stop measuring time in semesters and start to count them in fiscal quarters. Certain quarters have well-deserved harsh reputations, such as being “weeded” in Q4 or having strict deadlines by the end of Q1. For much of the professional world, Q3 is a steady, often lackadaisical time where those who can take “summer vacations”, while coworkers continue to grind it out while their (albeit deserving) coworkers enjoy a summer break.

But this isn’t the case for everyone, in fact in the United States, the average amount of paid time off (PTO) provided to full-time employees is 11 days for an entire year, according to Forbes. Although better than no PTO, 11 days isn’t much when you want to conservatively budget emergency PTO for emergencies, or or life events. Additionally, only 48% of full-time employees use all of the PTO available to them, citing “fear of falling behind” a new Pew Research Study finds. Similarly to the summer vacation students take, professionals need a mid year respite to relax and recenter. 

But what about the professional pressures that continue even while we attempt to relax away from the office? One could argue the reason summer vacation is so effective for young people is that there is no “falling behind”, because schools are closed too. The same is necessary for us as professionals, too.

Render’s solution is simple: 2 mandatory one-week corporate rest breaks for full-time employees, where work at the office and business halts. Here’s how Render’s model of corporate rest works to combat challenges other PTO models face

1. No one is “behind”

Mandatory means, well everyone. As amazing as a vacation is, the return to work the Monday after can be daunting and overwhelming. Sorting through endless missed slacks and idling emails can feel like the time away from work was more a practice in putting off the inevitable rather than a true disconnect. 

When everyone is out of office, there is no more internal pressure to fear upon return. Meghan Baylor, Render and Render Capital Project Manager says “There is nothing like taking a hard stop as a team. Corporate rest helps me slow down, free up my mind, and return to the office fully refreshed with a greater appreciation for the amazing work I get to do with amazing people.” 

2. Everyone has the chance to take a break

As important as time off is, it is perhaps more essential that this time is paid and thus encouraged by employers. By offering mandatory breaks, those who make less or perhaps have different financial situations are allowed and encouraged to take a break without putting themselves in any financially strenuous positions.

3. Prevent burnout, while sustaining productivity

Patrick Henshaw, Managing Director at Render and Render Capital says he likes to think of corporate rest as “like a slingshot”, “you are pulling back in order to accelerate forward”. Which, for anyone who has experienced the immobilizing feeling of work burnout sounds like the ultimate remedy.

 No matter how dedicated, or passionate about work you may be, there comes a point at which putting space between yourself and your work is essential to viewing work with a fresh focused perspective and clarity. 

4. Personal time is essential for professional growth 

From a business perspective, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence to support that PTO is essential for worker wellness, but from a personal perspective we can all benefit from dedicated time to reconnect with ourselves. And as obvious as this seems, it turns out personal stability, and a healthy work life balance leads to employees growing with companies rather than away from them.

At Render, we also feel that outside of the well-needed break during corporate rest, it’s important to provide our employees with the freedom to take breaks, or focus on family whenever is best for them. Our unlimited PTO policy is a commitment to prioritizing employee wellness. By not limiting rest to specified corporate rest weeks, employees make the choices that work best for them to manage their stress, work-life balance, and mental health.

 

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