Originally posted by Prad Dip: no. We can do this during weekends.
Not exactly. What they're doing is offering a year's change of scenery at half-pay. It's designed to prevent burn-out which can in turn lead to valued employees (this is now a foreign concept in the commodity-oriented USA) from seeking their change of scenery by leaving and going to work for a competitor.
I think it's a great idea, since I actually have left a job because after half a decade I needed some fresh air. Plus, they're actively encouraging people to do things for the general public welfare.
Of course, since I'm also an INFY shareholder, I'm not too unhappy that they can cut costs during a downturn while still retaining valuable human assets. Instead of simply "liquidating their assets", as is more common.
I'm also more prone to invest in organizations that attempt to improve their environment instead of merely plundering it. Not only because of the vicarious feeling of virtue it affords, but because I figure that a company that considers more than just their own little corner of the world is more likely to be able to adapt to the stresses of maintaining long-term profitability. [ November 19, 2008: Message edited by: Tim Holloway ]
An IDE is no substitute for an Intelligent Developer.
I would not be able to pay my mortgage and be thrown out of my house for half pay. I think this goes for a lot of people. Only if you have saved up quite some money you could go on sabbatical. And if I had the money I would not go work for a NGO if that would force me to move to another city. I am a single parent, and I cannot be missed. For me something like this would be useless. So I think only a small percentage of the employees could ever consider doing this.
Originally posted by Marcel Wentink: I would not be able to pay my mortgage and be thrown out of my house for half pay. I think this goes for a lot of people. Only if you have saved up quite some money you could go on sabbatical. And if I had the money I would not go work for a NGO if that would force me to move to another city. I am a single parent, and I cannot be missed. For me something like this would be useless. So I think only a small percentage of the employees could ever consider doing this.
Just a PR stunt?
Well, I wouldn't move. I won't even move to get a new job and I fully accept that that has limited me in some ways. But one of the things I did a few years back was pay off my house so a drastic reduction in income isn't a problem for me. I admit it was because in this Brave New World I can go from lucrative to zero and back every few years, but I didn't buy beyond my means and even after the Dot-Com bust, I still had enough Cisco stock gains to pay down the mortgage. Investing for the long term does have its benefits.
You are correct, however. The sabbatical is a long-term concept for people who have settled in for the long term and companies who plan for the long term. Rather the antithesis of today's "instant everything".
Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer: Being the cynic that I am, I think that "cutting costs while maintaining some flexibility" is more likely to be the prime goal, far ahead of "preventing employee burnout" and "caring for society".
Hey! I can out-cynic you. And I already thought of that. My experience is that it's extremely difficult to move up the ranks in business without leaving pieces of your soul behind.
On the other hand, I've no objection to being able to do a little good along the way, if you can.
Along these lines, a recent thread came up on Digg about CostCo. I don't particularly like the discount mega-stores, and have managed to go 5 years without even setting foot in a Wal-Mart parking lot. And hopefully won't be so reduced to penury as to have to do so in the next 5 as well.
CostCo, however, is a horse of a different color. While they're still a mega-store, their approach is less scorched-earth and more humanistic. Digg isn't a forum where you generally find a uniformly positive view of anything. It's a magnet for cynics, would-be cynics and people who think that one ideology can cure all problems. I didn't see one single put-down post anywhere. It was the kind of universal outflowing of praise and good feeling that you normally associate with schmaltzy endings to sappy Christmas movies right before you flee the room from saccharine overdose.
Maybe sometimes you can succeed in business without being an utter bastard.