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6 Reasons You Should Take A Paid Sabbatical

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Whether taking a paid sabbatical is something that’s been on your mind or not, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider taking one. After all, why wouldn’t someone wanna take time off to explore a hobby, volunteer, travel the world, or spend time with their family, all while getting paid for it? Keep reading to find out more.

What is a paid sabbatical?

We know, we know — it sounds too good to be true. A paid sabbatical is a concept that most people fantasize about. But let’s be real. While it’s important to take vacations to reduce your burnout, a paid sabbatical should not be underestimated in its importance.

Sabbaticals are defined as breaks from work, in which employees pursue interests such as traveling, writing, research, volunteering, or other activities (including rest). The employee remains employed with the organization during this period, but they are not required to report for work or perform their usual duties. 

Upon returning to work after their sabbatical, they are fully refreshed and recharged, ready to face any challenges, give it their all, and bring new perspectives and skills to their companies. What’s not to like about that?

A professor, for example, might take a sabbatical leave for a semester or two to teach at a foreign university or carry out research in their field. They would later return to their job with greater knowledge in their subject and a higher level of expertise in their chosen field. At the end of the day, all parties are happy. This way, the university and its students all benefit from the professor’s increased expertise, and the professor benefits by developing themselves and their craft from their time off.

Here’s why you should take one

It is rare to come across companies that offer paid sabbaticals (only 5% of all companies usually do), but if the opportunity arises, there is certainly plenty of reason you should take a paid sabbatical. 

Cuts down on burnout 

Burnout among employees is a recipe for disaster for both employees and their companies.

Having no energy robs you of productivity and leaves you feeling hopeless, cynical, and resentful. It may leave you feeling like you don’t have anything left to give.

The negative effects of burnout impact every aspect of your life, including your home, work, and social life. In addition, burnout can cause long-term changes to your body, making you prone to illnesses like colds and flu. As a result of its many consequences, burnout should be dealt with immediately. And what better way to do so than with a paid sabbatical?

Taking a paid sabbatical can help you get back on track by letting you put yourself first once again. Doing so gives you ample time to rest and recharge right when you need it, and ensures a smooth return back to work.

Develops your skills

Whether you want to build on your existing skills or want to learn new ones, taking a paid sabbatical offers you plenty of chances to work on yourself. It doesn’t matter if you want to grow professionally or personally, inside or out — a paid sabbatical gives employees full autonomy in making the best decision for themselves.

Leaders who take learning sabbaticals often gain greater strategic focus while also feeling the satisfaction of accomplishing something new and different. Taking a sabbatical means abandoning traditional routines and experimenting with new ways to be innovative. Time away from work can boost your creativity, productivity, and engagement.

Improves your health

An old saying goes that health is wealth. And in an era fuelled by never-ending variants and lockdowns brought by COVID-19, that quote has never been more fitting.

Career paths that cause high levels of stress can adversely affect both physical and mental health. In addition to the physiological changes, stress and burnout can also cause increased heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and muscle tension in order to supply enough blood to the brain and heart.

A cyclic adrenaline rush is what causes long-term stress that affects your nervous system. Stress is the leading cause of sudden death, especially in people who have no evidence of coronary artery disease. Thus, paid sabbatical leaves can be the impetus you need to develop healthier habits and take better care of your health.

Reduces employee turnover

Many companies out there don’t offer their employees this highly underrated employee benefit. Don’t be like them!

Including a paid sabbatical in your employee benefits package is a great way of showing your employees that you care about them and their wellbeing — both inside and outside the workplace. After all, a company’s employees are their bread and butter. Without them, a company would cease to exist. Hence, it is crucial to keep them happy and satisfied to keep your employee turnover and attrition low.

It’s important to keep the needs of your people and your company in mind while devising an effective sabbatical leave policy. Find a formula that works for all parties, and you’ll all benefit in the end — we promise!

Puts your career in perspective

Since sabbaticals are often offered to employees who have quite a bit of experience and expertise in their fields, it is also a great time for them to rethink their career paths or figure out how they are going to move forward.

Taking a paid sabbatical may help them see opportunities for growth, development, or transition — no matter the circumstances. It may mean evolving into something that is more in line with how you see yourself. It can also help you discover possibilities you hadn’t imagined for yourself before. After all, how you see yourself in the world has a greater impact on your well-being than anything else. So why neglect it?

Increases one’s personal satisfaction

Perhaps the biggest advantage of taking a paid sabbatical comes from the fact that you’re, um, actually taking one.

More often than not, we dream about getting away from work to a completely different world. A world, where we can do whatever we want, whenever we want to. But more often than not, those dreams end where they start — in our fantasies.

Taking a paid sabbatical gives employees the biggest freedom they want. The chance to do whatever they like without losing a job to get back to. Individuals who have the autonomy to choose what they want to do for the next chapter of their lives are more satisfied, and grow to love the company that gives them this opportunity. Talk about a win-win situation for all!

Snigdha Gupta
Snigdha Gupta

An avid writer and aspiring marketer, Snigdha is a student at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business.

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