Lovewell’s Logic: Are paid pre-cations the way forward?

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck

Reading the latest issue of Cosmopolitan last week, I came across a short article looking at one of the newest trends to hit more progressive workplaces across the pond.

In the US, some employers are giving newly hired staff two weeks’ paid leave before they join the organisation.

The idea behind these so-called ‘pre-cations’ is that employees then arrive for their first day at work with that organisation well-rested and raring to go.

To me, this certainly makes a lot of sense. So often, people finish working for one organisation on a Friday, then start with their new employer the following Monday. But, does this really give them enough time and headspace between the challenges of one job and the next?

Whatever their reason for leaving an employer, in most cases, employees will have been sufficiently invested in a role that it may be difficult to instantly switch off. Even when just on holiday for a couple of weeks, it can take time to fully relax and let go of work completely. So, if immediately moving to a new employer, it may be that an employee’s head may, to some extent, still be with their former role for the first couple of days.

Taking time out, therefore, can help them to switch off, relax and take some much-needed time to themselves, so that they arrive at their new employer with their old job as a distant memory, de-stressed and recharged ready to jump straight into the new challenges that lie ahead.

Research backs this up. Various studies over the years have shown that individuals’ ability to recover from stress improves following a holiday, while other health-impacting factors, such as sleep quality, also improve.

And, if nothing else, simply being given two weeks’ paid holiday could generate a great deal of goodwill from new staff.

Not surprisingly, it is predominantly employers in Silicon Valley offering this perk, so I’ll be interested to see if it catches on more widely.

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What are your views?  Should employers in the UK consider following suit?

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck
Tweet: @DebbieLovewell