It’s a trick as old as time… or at least as old as technology. We all know that step one to solving for any tech issue is to turn it off and then turn it back on again.
But would it solve for issues in advance of them happening? And could this work not only for technology but for the people behind the technology? Our leadership team decided to explore that theory.
Work changed overnight.
In an effort to keep employees safe in the middle of a global pandemic, many companies have sent their staff home to work remotely, Cloudera included. The ability to work from home presents its benefits such as eliminating commutes and making jeans optional. It also makes access to work just an arm’s length away.
While Cloudera has always been a remote friendly organization, our leadership team recognized this isn’t your normal work from home life.
In a recent survey of 2,000 Americans working from home, Forbes sited that 67% said they feel a pressure to be available at all hours of the day and 65% of respondents said they are working longer hours than ever before.
With numbers like that, it’s no wonder why 40% of people polled by FlexJobs said that they have experienced burnout during this pandemic.
How Do We Cope?
That paired with the pains of a global pandemic has led to new stresses.
Traveling is highly discouraged. Connecting face to face has been on an as needed basis. Zoom fatigue is real. Social distancing and learning to read eyes has become the new normal.
Parents have faced an especially difficult time during this.
Social distanced learning has been implemented around the world forcing many parents to wear multiple hats as they support their children.
As Clouderan Shelby Khan put it in an internal blog, “we have to contend with the struggle of whether or not our kids should go back to schools or daycares, play sports, or engage in pre-COVID activities. Plus, we still have to entertain our kids. And work. And be normal functioning adults. In short, we still need help (and sleep)!“
We Need to Actually Unplug
Managers took notice that even with unlimited PTO, employees were taking fewer days off so Unplugged Days were rolled out early this summer.
Every 3 weeks, for as long as we are fully remote, Clouderans will get an extended weekend that could last 3 to 5 days long! The goal is to encourage our employees to unplug from work and plug into something that fuels them up.
“We realized we needed to be thinking of the mental health of employees and how to give them some additional days off,” Bob Mahan, Chief HR Officer expressed to CNNBusiness .
Emalee Smith, an Office Coordinator in Austin, TX shared her thoughts on the Unplugged Days. “I’m also grateful that my company recognizes that I give my best to my job, my family, and my community when my heart, soul and body are in balance. Unplugged Days gives me the chance to get the balance right.”
“The Unplugged Days are playing a key role in bringing more balance to life in the “new normal’” said Carlos Zorzin who operates out of Australia.
Dominika Bialek who tag-teams caring for her 9-month old son with her husband shared that these days allow for time to destress. “Our work schedule includes catching up with work every evening and often on weekends. This can get very stressful. The unplug days allow us extra time to catch our breath and do something fun outdoors.”
Unplugging from screens, emails and work provides a tremendous value. Plugging into nature, family and quiet time allows employees to relax and recharge. Unplugging and plugging back in really can work for the people behind the technology.
Cloudarns are using their Unplugged Days in so many ways. Stay tuned for more about this! Be sure to check out our Careers page to find out how you can be a part of the team!