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Unusual policies for better work-life balance



02/6Unhappy leaves

Taking into consideration that life is full of ups and downs and there are certain days when one just doesn’t feel like turning up for work, a retail company in China is now providing 10 days of leave to their employees who are feeling too unhappy. The new “unhappy leaves” were announced by retail tycoon Yu Donglai, Founder and Chairman of Pang Dong Lai, recently, reported by the South China Morning Post. These “unhappy leaves” are above the usual weekend off and 30 to 40 days of annual leave that the company’s employees already get. “We want our employees to have a healthy and relaxed life so that the company will too… Freedom and love are very important,” Yu Donglai said about the “unhappy leaves” as per reports.


03/6Menstrual leaves

Menstrual or period leaves are a type of leave often given in many companies across the world wherein a female employee has an option of taking a paid or unpaid leave to rest and recover if they are menstruating. This is keeping in mind that many women often go through painful periods, so much so that it could hinder their day-to-day lives. Some countries including Japan, South Korea, Spain, Vietnam, among others have made menstrual leave policy (for different number of days) mandatory for companies to follow.


04/6Paw-ternity leave

Indian food delivery platform Swiggy recently introduced their “paw-ternity policy” for pet parents in their full-time employees. The “paw-ternity policy” came into effect from April 11, 2024, which was also National Pet Day. “Building on our gender-neutral parental policy introduced in 2020, which provides substantial paid leave for primary and secondary caregivers, in addition to bonding leaves, and time off for adoption, surrogacy, miscarriage and IVF, we are now expanding our definition of parenthood to include pet parents as well,” Girish Menon, CHRO, Swiggy said in a statement. According to this policy, new pet parents will now get an additional paid day off apart from their paid leaves to bring home their pet and make them settle in. Employees can also work from home till the time thei pet gets comfortable in their new home. Apart from this, pet parents can also take sick leaves for their pets and bereavement leave to mourn the loss of their beloved pet.

Many companies in the United States of America and Canada, among other country, also provide such leaves to their employees.


05/6 4-day work week culture

Apart from providing annual leaves that employees are entitled to, many countries are now adopting or testing the four-days work week model. According to it, employees work only four-days per week and get three days for themselves. Studies have concluded improved output, better work satisfaction, better health, and lesser burn out and anxiety among employees where 4-day work week have been implimented. Some countries that have adopted a 4-day work week culture include: Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Australia, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, Iceland, among others.


06/6Work from home or remote working culture

While work-from-home (WFH) or remote working culture have been there for long, many companies have now adopted this model– especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees too have realised that WFH or remote working gives them more time for themselves, thus providing a better work-life balance. In fact, as per reports, many employees are now preferring WFH models over high-compensation at work.


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