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Bumble’s Answer To Burnout – An Extra Week Vacation

This week Bumble (the popular dating app that recently floated) confirmed they will be giving an extra week off is in addition to the company’s normal vacation allowance. 

Bumble Smart Approach 

Bumble’s approach is smart, it will help everyone across the business to understand the importance of burnout and taking the allocated vacation, there have been studies that have found vacations (holiday/annual leave) have not been taken throughout the pandemic and will create issues for individuals and companies moving forward.  

People First Approach Is The Future Of Every Business 

The recurring conversations around burnout, fatigue and time off it has coincided with the challenges of the future of work and can the hybrid office work Bumble’s approach is right for their people and smart for their business.
Why? It enables staff to focus on taking the required time off and refocus their mental wellbeing. 

Reducing Any Return To The Office Stress

Enabling your teams to refresh alongside creating plans to work from x policy will greatly reduce stress and anxiety in the evolving world of work and reduce upcoming concerns. Reducing stress and timing is going fundamental, learning from Apple’s return to work 3 days a week rollout will be key to winning the long term staff happiness and retention. 

This should also coincide with your company culture and help to improve your organisation health

Will it work? 

Although there is a challenge for many to actually get away with travel restrictions this will enable Bumblers to understand they need to refresh. The executive management team will need to help all team members understand how important this is for them personally and the management teams will need to lead the way in taking these extra days and clearly call this out as their extra days off. 

Executed correctly, this will be a brilliant step in helping people first (teams refresh) and then hitting long term business goals. 

Will this cause extra stress? 

There is an important element to call out with additional time off can cause additional stress, many are struggling with hitting deadlines and will cause stress, especially within app business like Bumble where releasing products, hitting growth targets and rolling out marketing campaigns is imperative every week. 

Similar to Google’s approach to preventing burnout towards Christmas by having no meeting days and Airbnb’s no meetings Wednesday’s (this is something that causes more meetings to happen as this is the time where there is actually time designated to meet) it is likely to see additional stress on making the most of the time and catching up.  

Bumble’s internal challenge will be to guide the stress and stagger the rollout. Bumble rarely make bad internal decisions, this is likely one of the smarter business decisions. 

Rolling this incentive out is not just a big leap of faith but a huge undertaking for HR, managers and the employee to organise life around this, including child care and looking to get away or do things at home, all likely to cost more money for the individual despite being paid for the extra time off. 

Is this something other companies could roll out? 

We are likely to see similar-sized companies attempt to see if this is possible.  

This will take significant investment, this will be a challenge but many companies feel like this will have to be rolled out to compete and offer the right environment for their staff. 

This will also see many competitors and bigger businesses attempt to “compete” with this, this should not be seen as a perk but an essential move for mental wellbeing. There will be other companies adapting a different approach to length of time off however with the same goal of helping their people fight burnout and video call fatigue. 

Will this become a feature or trend through 2021? 

This will likely be a trend we see in 2021, we will see extra days be provided and rightly so, the balance of reducing stress and rolling out policies to protect staff is vital. 

It is also important to highlight other companies that have rolled out similar, like Hootsuite who rolled out a similar programme in July. 

Focus Recommendations: 

  • At Focus we recommend that this is a start of placing mental health and wellbeing at the front of burnout and helping your teams and departments to be able to come forward and discuss their mental health and their vitals 
  • Look to roll out similar programmes, it is often a smart approach to give afternoons off as refreshes. Afternoon feel less of a big barrier 
  • Suggest to teams to remove email apps, slack or teams and project management tools off their smartphone alongside taking the time off 
  • When considering extra time off work with the teams to reduce any stress or friction additional time will place on employees. Look to review workloads and product launches to map out and plan the right flow of time off 
  • Consider following Slack’s lead in encouraging employees to take Fridays off every 4 weeks  

This is a good move from Bumble and let’s hope other businesses are in a position to offer similar.

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss this or your own approach to addressing burnout or creating the right company culture.

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