We believe that we should always question whether our practices and processes are working. Even the most fundamental and obvious ones. In fact, especially those. This series of posts will document all our internal experiments to evolve how we relate to work.

Today’s experiment is about Mini-Sabbaticals.

What are we rethinking?


What is the experiment?

The entire team will take one week off every three months.

Why did we decide to do this?

We don’t believe in the traditional vacation model; where you have to work for twelve consecutive months and only then can you take one month off. A model where people have to wait until they are exhausted to take a break.

At first, we ended up using this traditional model here at Startaê. We had a bad experience with it. We noticed that people postponed their vacations indefinitely. Either because they did not schedule them or because they do not want to leave their projects behind, among other reasons.

This is not mentally, physically and emotionally healthy. So we started looking for other ways to do things. So we decided to question this model and create a new one.

Our main inspiration for this experiment was Seanwes and his Small Scale Sabbaticals. We believe that implementing this new model will:

  • Avoid the total burnout. People won’t have to wait until they reach exhaustion to take a rest and recharge their energies.
  • Eliminate the guilt of taking time off while other people on the team are working. No one should feel guilty for taking time off.
  • Get out of the routine and take some time to see things with more perspective.
  • Create the time to pursue other passions or learn something new. If you didn’t do it for lack of time, now there are no more excuses.

How is it going work?

In our day to day, we use the Pomodoro technique to help with productivity. A technique where you are focused for 25 minutes and then rest for 5 minutes. It has worked very well for both individual work and our group meetings. So we decided to take this thinking to a larger scale.

Basically, we’ll take one week off every three months. The whole company will stop, and all the team will take a sabbatical week at the same time. The idea is to keep breaks at regular and scheduled intervals. By this count, there will be four sabbatical weeks spread over the year.

These breaks are also lined up to with the end of our quarter. It’s a way to recharge and prepare for the next quarter.

On this week you can rest and recharge the energy or take some time to experience other passions. Compose a song, create art, take a course, read a book. Also, each member has an extra week of vacation to take during the year as he sees fit.

Experiment’s Stage

We’re taking our first Mini-Sabbaticals this Monday, April 10. It’s something new, and we will certainly have many learnings to apply to the next, but the most important in the end is the attempt to change something that does not make more sense for our team.

How about you? Does it resonate with you? Does it not? Why? Tell us here and follow us to get more content like this one.