Blog post

We want our employees to take a sabbatical. Here's how it works!

Kristen Tippit
April 21, 2022

What does the word 'sabbatical' mean to you?

Traditionally, this was time given to professors every 7 years as a way to provide them a break from teaching so they could focus on research and furthering their thought leadership in their specialized field.

But things have changed and now, according to a 2018 SHRM report, up to 15% of companies are offering a sabbatical to their employees. This perk has a LOT of benefits for both the employee and the company.

According to BetterUp, "One of the primary benefits of sabbatical leave is improved well-being." On the company side of things, it can also make a huge impact with improved retention, increased creativity and innovation and reduced cost of employee turnover.

OpenTent wholeheartedly believes in this and created our own policy.

From the Employee Handbook, the OpenTent Sabbatical Policy states:

After you have been at OpenTent for five years, and once every five years after that, all colleagues are eligible to take a sabbatical. We encourage you to make time in your life to explore and take an extended break from work.

Here is how it works:

  • You may take up to 4 months total.

     ~OpenTent can offer 2 months paid.

     ~Your sabbatical months must be consecutive.

  • To take a sabbatical, the company requires a minimum of 6 months notice. Please let us know as far in advance as you can so we can plan.
  • If you plan to do professional development during your sabbatical, let us know. There may be opportunities for OpenTent to subsidize your learning.
  • No more than 10% of colleagues may be on sabbatical at one time, so you may need to be flexible with your dates. Sabbatical approvals are first come, first served.
  • To request your sabbatical, email your Manager with your desired sabbatical dates.
  • Sabbaticals may be taken in sequence with Parental Leave.

We believe it's important for our leaders to lead by example and using this policy is the perfect chance. So far at OpenTent, we have had both co-owners use this policy. One of them, Co-owner and Director of Coaching, Kayleigh Collins, took hers in 2021, and the other, Co-owner and CEO Sam Adiv, is taking his this quarter.

For Kayleigh, taking this time at this point in her life was very important. She knew the next time she would likely take an extended leave would be for having children. She wanted to take a break because at 5 years of commitment to OpenTent, she knew she had contributed greatly and could step back to gain a new perspective on the work she was doing, her role in the company, and how she could best serve herself and others within the company. She describes her sabbatical this way: "I spent most of my days playing with my dogs outside, enjoying the sun, and learning how to “do nothing.”

Kayleigh says that having a sabbatical policy is part of a 'work revolution' that OpenTent wants to create to #MakeWorkSuckLess. She notes that vacations are fine, but longer breaks give you the opportunity to check in, explore other parts of yourself and your life, and then come back ready to roll.

"I'm just really grateful. I'm so happy know that this is just a thing that happens here" - Kayleigh

We can't wait to hear all about what the sabbatical experience was like for Sam when he returns in a couple months!

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