WFH: THE NEW BURNOUT.
Let’s be honest. Working from home had a magical convenience for the first few weeks. Now it is simply the new burnout; one that the world has been quickly forced to notice.
As the line between home and office continues to blur, more and more people forget to ‘switch off’. Swinging between the extremes of too many distractions (read family) and too much solitude (read no coworkers), people feel more stretched than they were in a pre-lockdown world. And while millions battle the virus outside, billions are left home to confront its cousin contagions of cabin fever, social isolation, economic uncertainties, and a sense of doom delivered with our morning cup of news.
Even before WFH became the norm, we at Market Pulse recognized that this toxic setting could neither be good for humans nor productive for organizations. Now more than ever, it is imperative for our folks to have regular windows to unwind, relax, connect with people, learn something new, recharge their systems and come back to WFH with brand new superpowers.
It is in these baffling times that our long-brewing rejuvenation program re.boot becomes an absolute lifesaver.
EVERYONE NEEDS A
The logic behind re.boot is very simple: a sick leave is not a day off. Neither are family emergencies, dentist appointments or bank runs. These are things we do out of circumstance, not by choice. They offer no scope or opportunity to unwind and do something we truly want to do.
That’s why we’ve spent 2 years building re.boot: a program that literally forces people to take time off to relax and recharge their batteries. This is a completely guilt-free, personal, paid and compulsory rejuvenation break that we expect and force our people to take regularly.
Now, as the global workforce grapples with the unforeseen exasperation of working from home, re.boot becomes even more critical. Also, did we mention compulsory?
HELLO, LONG WEEKENDS.
Our WFH avatar of re.boot enforces two things uncompromisingly: One, a forced 3-day weekend (Friday off) every month for the entire organization. And two, a forced 4-day weekend (Thursday+Friday off) every quarter for the entire organization.
And it doesn’t end here.
To drive home just how much we want people to unwind, we’ve added an exclusive rejuvenation perk: a quarterly 5000-INR allowance encouraging our folks to enroll in an online course, learn an instrument, upgrade a skill, or just engage in an inspiring activity — whatever it takes for them to re.boot. (This was turned into 10,000 INR for this quarter.)
CAN BACK-TO-WORK WORK BETTER?
So how will re.boot look once we’ve transitioned from home-office to office-office? The mechanics may change, but at its core it will still be about giving people their time to do what they want. (We’re currently toying with the idea of forcing 20 days off a year.) And it will still be, you guessed it, compulsory.
Here’s how serious we are about enforcing re.boot: the office version.
We’ve set up a system to identify offenders: these are stubborn work-loving ninjas who regularly overwork and take abysmally low breaks.
We’ve empowered every team to promptly kick such offenders out of office. We’d still love them, but we’d love kicking their behinds more.
We’ve developed a Vacation Tool that helps people plan, mark and classify their days off in advance, keeping the whole team in the loop, and a sharp eye on those skimping on their forced time off.
And for the pièce de résistance, we’ve added a standing-ovation-worthy (we tested it) re.boot travel perk — this is a long-term travel incentive of INR 25000 every year. Yes indeed, once the world is a safer place to explore, we’re literally paying our people to go do it. As long as they return with gooey chocolates and spectacular pictures, everyone’s happy.
UNLOCKING THE NEW NORMAL.
Re.boot is inspired by and reflected in our threefold ethos of Freedom, Discipline and Responsibility.
But re.boot is not just a program – it’s a fundamental mind-set. A culture that puts the happiness, growth and empowerment of people above all other goals. And truth be told, we’d like nothing more than to see this culture become the new contagion.