Taking time off (and the minimum)

Hey everyone,

As mentioned yesterday during the Town Hall - and as lockdown measures keep being put in place around the world - we’ve been looking at our time-off use in 2020 as one of the metrics of our ability to disconnect.

Time away from the main project one is focused on (aka, work), to enjoy other human interactions and activities (hobbies, sports, manual work, open air, or even just a different project….) without being pulled in the everyday ‘noise’ of our online reality is vital to mental health and balance.

If it wasn’t already frequent enough in our context of remote tech workers, with the added pressure of schools closed, worry and forced distancing, burnout risk has been on the rise.

Disconnecting while not being able to travel (or to leave the house) might feel counterintuitive, but it’s really important to do it anyway.
I found this helpful to monitor my own burnout levels, and what impacts them (the survey has nothing to do with ‘management’, so feel free to take it regardless of direct reports).

We’re aware of the importance of taking healthy amounts of time away from screens, and we’d like to make sure that we don’t fall in the trap of ‘open vacation = almost no vacation’.

According to Bamboo, the ‘vacation’ category hasn’t been used much last year. Approximately 50% of CC’s logged less than 20 days of ‘pure’ vacation (not counting other types of leave, etc) in 2020. *

(*data is probably not super accurate as it depends on how consistently it has been used, who’s been around the full year - but it’s an indication)

For this reason, this year we want to reinforce that contributors should be away a minimum of 20 days afk + the local (or cultural) bank holidays. More than that is welcome and encouraged. We’re updating the handbook accordingly; and together with the team, we’ll be looking at more initiatives to support health & balance.

All of your feedback and suggestions are most welcome.

  • This is the first post of several aimed at refreshing guidelines that haven’t been reevaluated in a few years. If anything on our handbook is particularly important to you and you’d like to see it handled asap, feel free to tell us here or on people-ops (or to ping myself/Terry in private). We definitely have a backlog of issues to steer through this year, and we’d appreciate your input in prioritizing them correctly.