This is a repost of a entry I made in January on my old blog... This topic came up again recently and I thought it may make for an interesting topic. Sorry if you have seen it before:
So, I have this strange habit of taking what most people would think of as a 'harebrained' idea, and trying to sell it to as many people as I can. Here is this weeks attempt:
I think that sabbaticals should be an encouraged benefit within more companies. I have been asking around, and a sizable portion of the people I unscientifically polled said that they would be willing to accept a reduction in pay in order to have 6 to 12 months off every few years.
So many people define their lives based on there employment. I think we quickly become slaves to the paycheck, and our true passions get buried or subordinated to advancing our career. Our vision becomes so focused on one very small part of the world that we lose a substantial amount of are capability to be creative. How can somebody be asked to think outside of the box when they have been trapped inside the box for years and years?
Today's businesses have to be extremely agile in order to be successful. When people do the same thing year in and year out, they get comfortable with it. They resist change. Commonly, there is such narrow perspective that an organization may not be able to see the big picture to even understand that change is necessary.
If we want people to think outside the box, we need to let them out of the box once in a while.
I see very good benefits to both parties in an organization where sabbatical are commonplace.
The employee gains the ability to spend time serving the real passions in their lives. Their family, churches, charities, Learning more, Relating to people more. They will feel like they are working for a company that is enabling them to do what they love, not a company that is preventing them from doing what they love.
The employer gains a workforce that has a better perspective on the world that they are serving. They gain a workforce that is used to change, The common absence of key people makes the rest of the team stronger, and more understanding of the whole operation. Infrastructure will naturally develop to adapt quickly to changes that need to happen.. Their employees will be better known in the community, and the company will gain goodwill from the community involvement as well as a more healthy community to draw its workforce from. Employees will also be more loyal, and less susceptible to burnout. .
The costs exist, but they probably could be split between the employee and employer, and both parties would feel that they where getting a pretty good deal.
What do you think of that idea? God made a similar 'suggestion' to Israel, but I don't believe they followed it. They didn't follow many of God's rules.