Would you consider taking a sabbatical from work? 

Sabbatical, defined as “taking a break or resting from work”, it is a practice that has been around for ages. I remember growing up, taking a sabbatical was most common with universities than other work places. For me then, I thought taking a sabbatical from work was the bees knees but not so much anymore. I am one of the 65% of British employees who would consider taking a sabbatical but currently not financially feasible. A recent survey found British workers risk burn-out if they do not take holidays according to opodo.co.uk.

sabbatical from work

Taking a sabbatical from work

As an avid traveler it would be ideal to take a sabbatical so I can continue to travel the world. But as I mentioned financially it isn’t feasible and I am also studying for my post-graduate masters degree. Financial feasibility and post-graduate studies are not the only things halting my thoughts on taking a sabbatical from work. Like the 54%  of the workers who participated in an international research, it would be hard to return to work. For me personally I am at the “career building” stage of my life gathering up experience to pursue higher roles in my profession. It would be hard to pick up from where I left off but I feel like the 24% surveyed it could make one less-employable.

Now don’t get me wrong taking a sabbatical from work is not a bad thing but rather could be a great change. 61% {Spain} and 49% {France} working in these two counties believe extended leave would help them in the future. If a sabbatical taken is for self-development and discovery than chilling at home then it would help. Many people who take sabbatical come back with different life experiences that would improve their work life. Yes there would be a time of catching up on what’s new in the company and industry but it would be different to a beginner in the field.

Benefits of Taking a sabbatical from work

As I have mentioned, taking time out of work for an extended period of time can be a good thing. We live in a fast paced world where we are always connected to our devices. Those who know me know I am never far from my work emails and often reply on vacation. Obviously this is more to do with my discipline than a requirement and thoughts of needing to show ‘I work hard‘. I am sure everyone can attest to feeling burnt out at work and wishing for an extended leave. In the UK we are fortunate that the labor laws make it possible for employees to request extended leave. But like in most countries, many companies do not offer sabbatical options to their employees. If they did, here are some of the benefits on taking an extended leave from work;

  • Improve mental health – sometimes we find our selves depressed because we are constantly stressed out. A sabbatical can help re-calibrate our mental health.
  • Learn a new skill – not all sabbatical are mere relaxing and travel, others take up learning a new language. This is one of the most common skills learnt by those who take up a sabbatical. I would consider moving to another country and learn the language.
  • Improve physical health – like most people when I am stress I stress eat. Taking time off allows me to be more conscious of what I am putting into my body.
  • Become more confident in yourself – when you’re confident in your own abilities it can be replicated everywhere. Taking time out to learn about yourself, your strengths and weakness allows you to be more confident.

Taking a sabbatical has its own merits and for most it is something they would consider. But we live in a world of financial decisions and implications for the future of our families. I believe that where it is possible to take a sabbatical then take it so as not to burn out. For me personally I travel at least once a month, I go somewhere new for a couple of days. Whilst I won’t be learning a new language fast, it allows me the mental space I need to disconnect. I am also fortunate that my company offers flexible working conditions to work from home.

Would you consider taking a sabbatical from work if your company offered it?

*Collaborative, all opinions shared are my own*