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My son Wes, who works as a software engineer for a company that provides consumers with better online credit solutions, recently told me that after four years of employment, workers at the company can take a month-long sabbatical with pay.

A sabbatical is “a break from work" for at least a month during which employees can pursue their interests, like traveling, writing, research, volunteering, or other activities -- even rest. Academics frequently take them to focus on their research interests.

But I don't think they are as common in the corporate world. And certainly not in the healthcare or senior living design industry.

A Solution for Employee Burnout

In fact, the last time the Society for Human Resource Management polled its members on this issue in 2019, only 11 percent of employers offered an unpaid sabbatical program and just 5 percent offered sabbaticals with pay. Many HR professionals think offering sabbaticals could be a good solution to help combat employee burnout.

Or recruitment. What if prospective employees in the healthcare and senior living design industry were offered a paid sabbatical every four years? You might just snag that rising star or mid-level person you've been looking for.

Since 1981, I've been working for various companies and organizations, and as a self-employed consultant and writer in the commercial design industry (check out my healthcare design journey). And, as I heard someone say recently, I'm on the "back nine" of my career.

But I haven't finished my round yet.

My Sabbatical

It is, however, time for me to step back from work to complete the sale of the house I've lived in for 26 years, downsize, and move.

While it's not exactly a true sabbatical, I'm hoping this time away from my day-to-day work activities will be somewhat rejuvenating. I don't fish, but I do plan to spend some time doing the things I love to do when I'm not working -- like play tennis and golf, walk, listen to podcasts, read fiction, and have coffee with friends.

So, I won't be publishing any new posts on this blog until June. And although it will be difficult, I'm also going to take a break from LinkedIn and Twitter. My marketing work is on hold as well, except for one commitment I made to a client to do a presentation in May.

Since I don't have an AI assistant, I suppose I'll have to check email. But I really am going to try to focus on my personal stuff.

What about you?  Is it time to take a sabbatical? Or offer your employees one?

P.S. Please do me a favor -- if you liked this post and like this blog, please share it with others by sending them the link or posting it on your Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Also, don't forget to subscribe, so you'll get emails when new content is posted. Thanks!

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Leave a comment

Margi Kaminski

1 year ago

Good for you Sara! Enjoy the time off as it will go fast.
Looking forward to more good thoughts and insights when you return.
Cheers to investing in yourself!!

Deborah Seitz

1 year ago

It is indeed a fantastic idea to have a sabbatical. I worked for a firm that allowed up to 6 weeks of sabbatical - unpaid, but all other benefits continued - such as PTO accrual and health insurance. I took advantage of it and completed a lot of courses for higher credentials. This actually benefited the firm too. I hope your sabbatical is delightful.

Joseph, G. Sprague FAIA

11 months ago

Sara, you and I seem to have an awful lot in common! When I was with American Hospital Association as Director of design and construction, I also lived in Evanston, Illinois. My lifelong dream has been to improve the status of design for health. As an architect a career in this endeavor I continue to try to contribute to the state of the art. Also, when I’m not thinking about this I play golf almost every day! It keeps my mind clear and my body strong! I look forward to further connections with you on thoughts about the subjects that we both love!

Sara Marberry_013-Retouched-New copy

What's my story? I'm a healthcare and senior living design knowledge expert who writes and speaks frequently about trends and issues affecting these two industries. I'm also a strategic marketing consultant and content creator, working with companies and organizations who want to improve the quality of healthcare and senior living through the design of the physical environment. You can reach me at .

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