The American social media company Bumble Inc. has given its employees a week off from work to relieve and relax from the stress of the pandemic. The decision, unique and positive as it is, has been praised universally across social media by industry leaders and entrepreneurs.
Bumble founder-CEO and recently turned billionaire businesswoman Whitney Wolfe Herd has taken the action “having correctly intuited the company’s collective burnout”. The company announced in April that all Bumble employees would have a week’s paid leave and be completely offline as part of the vacation in June 2021.
Company’s Collective Burnout and Pandemic Stress are Reasons behind the Break
As the pandemic forced people to refrain from going to their offices, schools and other public spaces, the line between work and ‘the personal’ got blurred amidst innumerable online meetings. This has raised concerns about fatigue and exhaustion globally. While many businesses have thrived in the pandemic year, their workers have never been more exhausted and dismayed.
A Microsoft Corp study has recently found that 41% of workers may quit their tech-savvy, high demanding jobs in the United States this year. Workers are demanding changes as employers risk losing workers if they don’t bend for the right causes.
Like everyone else, our global team went through a very difficult time during the pandemic," said Rosanna Sachs, a spokeswoman for Bumble.
As vaccination rates rise and restrictions ease, Bumble is focusing on calming the nerves of its teams around the world by letting them focus on themselves for a week.
Bumble’s Business Growth has been Massive
Bumble has grown rapidly than many other companies over the last year. Its rapidly growing users and stock market debut are proof enough of its busy success. During the first quarter of 2021, the number of paid Bumble and Badoo, another Bumble Inc. owned platform, users increased by 30% as compared to the same period last year.
Can businesses in India follow the same road as Bumble’s?
With restrictions largely lifted in the United States due to reduced cases of and mass vaccination against the coronavirus, companies are taking a variety of approaches to retaining employees and increasing productivity. Some want a full return to the office, while others are offering a more flexible approach.
Paid vacation for Bumble employees coincides with a trend in which executives are convincing employees that their well-being is important to them. Apple Inc. is adopting a work-from-home hybrid strategy this year, and Twitter has announced that many of its employees will be able to work from home indefinitely.
While the above-mentioned companies are leaps and bounds ahead of a majority of Indian businesses, the messaging from their actions is worth following suit. Even though the pandemic is far from over in India, a large number of companies call employees to offices as soon as the restrictions are lifted by the government. Such practices of calling employees to offices amidst the pandemic make them extra vulnerable. Their stress levels increase due to the risk of contracting the virus.
Businesses must chart out a pragmatic way for keeping themselves up and running, while simultaneously leaving some space for their employees who have been facing the double brunt of work and pandemic for over one and a half years. That indeed is the most sustainable way to go forward.