A sabbatical is a rest or break from work. At different times in an individual's life they may decide to take sabbatical leave from work. By taking extended leave and having a break from work, it provides individuals with an opportunity to rest and prioritize personal needs above the expectations of their organization.

Sabbatical programs are increasingly popular with companies offering opportunities for month-long breaks from work or more. Offering a paid sabbatical is a great approach to retain top talent. Enabling your employees to leave work for an extended break may seem to be immediately detrimental to productivity, yet in fact, these periods of leave encourage professional growth. Demonstrating that the organization recognizes the human in their employees is important and facilitates great levels of employee engagement.

Giving your employees the opportunity to strike a balance between their personal and professional lives will significantly benefit their physical and mental health. Offering sabbatical leave as part of a program will also attract more talent as they can feel more secure in their job should they need to take leave for unforeseen reasons. Working full-time all year round will inevitably take a toll on the health of your employees, as such, the possibility to take a significant break from work is vital.

Paid time off is very desirable, yet even the possibility to take an unpaid sabbatical but maintain the opportunity to return to one's position will reassure most individuals. Having returned to work following a significant leave, the employee should be recharged and, once again, prepared to excel in their role.

Formal Sabbatical

Also referred to as an unpaid sabbatical, a formal sabbatical is typical arranged by larger corporations. These organizations will have a formal policy that dictates the conditions around taking an extended leave and the terms that qualify someone to leave work for an significant period of time.

An employee may request a formal sabbatical if they need to leave their work if they have pressing personal needs such as caring for someone. This type of leave would not usually be associated with a career break. As formal sabbatical is unpaid, it is essentially a contractual agreement for an employee to stop working whilst retaining their role with the organization.

Career Break

The practice of taking a break from work has been rehearsed since biblical times. There are records in Leviticus 25 that explain how it was expected for people working in the fields to take a break every seven years. This extended leave would be a time for the individual to focus on themselves, either developing their own professional growth or otherwise exploring and learning about the world.

The purpose of a career break is to spend a significant period of time away from the work environment. By spending some dedicated time on sabbatical leave, individuals have the time and energy to fully invest themselves into other projects. It is important for all humans to get a variety in their lifestyle, too much of one thing is never good. Consequently, taking a sabbatical leave is a great way for full time employees to break away and explore other aspects of life.


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