Coinbase, a major crypto exchange in the US, has stated that it will give its employees a week off each quarter in 2022 to recover and recharge after “long days and long weeks” of intense work. Coinbase’s chief people officer, LJ Brock, wrote in a company blog post that “almost the entire business will be shut down for four weeks this year” to allow employees to recover from heavy workloads. Brock added that Coinbase employees are not necessarily limited to 40-hour work weeks.
“We realized in 2020 that many employees weren’t taking enough time off to recharge, either because they didn’t want to force their teammates to fill in for them or because they didn’t want to fall behind with their work,” says Brock. . “We knew this was unsustainable, so we planned a charging week at the end of 2020 and two charging weeks in 2021, when almost the entire company would close. Subsequent employee surveys made it clear: charging weeks work.”
“Four weeks of coordinated recharge time may sound like a lot of free time for a hyper-growth company, but given the intensity of our work year-round, we think it’s the best way to ensure our pace is sustainable over the long term.” Brok added.
The announcement comes as many American workers are fighting back against the harsh working conditions, often leading to career moves or layoffs with no plan — a trend dubbed “the Great Resignation” by netizens.
Coinbase created changes in its policy to allow employees to work remotely from their homes from the start of the pandemic, and CEO Brian Armstrong said the company would continue to do so once “quarantine restrictions” are lifted. As part of its mission to “be remote first,” the crypto exchange stated in May that it plans to completely shut down its San Francisco headquarters sometime in 2022.
The exchange also tried “recharge weeks” in 2020, which helped more than half of its staff recover, according to an internal survey. However, Brock notes in his blog that despite the addition of “charging weeks,” a significant portion of the workforce was not quite able to schedule vacations for those weeks due to work pressure.
However, scheduling a week off here and there is not an entirely new concept. A number of advertising agencies in the US offered employees an entire week off around Labor Day. While LinkedIn, Hootsuite and Twitch offered employees longer breaks at other times.
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