New Delhi: Corporate life has its challenges, but there are times when work-and-leave policies do more harm than good. One such concept is sandwich holidays – days off that an employee takes on either side of scheduled office closures on festivals or weekends. Sometimes employees take advantage of this to get more time to recover from an illness or to take a vacation or simply to recover from burnout. However, HR policies can sometimes change the leave policy alternately – for example, if an employee takes leave on Friday, then instead of considering it as a one-day leave, it will be considered as a three-day leave, including regular weekends.
With such changes, employees often feel discouraged to miss work, which triggers dissatisfaction and consequently stress, anxiety and burnout. As a result, work quality and productivity can be disrupted, forcing the employee or employer to consider exiting.
Experts say the policy is widespread in IT, manufacturing and BPOs operating on an hourly basis to discourage employees from taking too much time off at one time or in a row. Although the concept of sandwich sheets was not born at India Inc, it has crept into the country and its businesses over time.
Are there a good number of working hours in a week?
In the business scenario, some work eight hours a day, five days a week – while others work nine hours a day (including one hour for lunch) and five to six days a week. India’s new labor law proposes to introduce a system where people would work 12 hour days and four days a week to introduce a better work-life balance. However, a study has unlocked the secret of how many hours of work one should do per week for a healthier mind.
Research by experts from the universities of Cambridge and Salford has found that working eight hours a week or just one day a week is the most effective dose for the mental health benefits of paid employment. Anything above is overkill. The study showed a 30% drop in mental health problems by doing so. The study was published in the journal Social Science And Medicine.
On the one hand, unemployment can be detrimental to well-being and can negatively affect the brain – and on the other hand, going through burnout by working several hours a day several days a week can harm productivity, physical and mental health. Therefore, experts insist on redistributing working hours so that people can reap mental health benefits from a job, even if it means a shorter workweek.
Disclaimer: The tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or dietitian before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet.