tl;dr

Everyone who works at Spill HQ is taking 1 days' mandatory holiday on July 5th

The problem 😰

At Spill we work in **'**terms', which are periods of 6-8 weeks during which we agree a set of OKRs in the first week and then spend the rest of the time working to achieve them. The plus side of 6-8 weeks is that it's short enough to feel like a sprint; the downside is that it's long enough to cause people to work unsustainably hard. Especially during lockdown, when it can be easy to work long hours because, well, there's not much else to do in the evenings anyway. And because, with the OKR being so ever-present and so imminently achievable, the idea of taking a few days off can give people a sense of FOMO. As a result, people haven't been taking enough holiday at Spill recently — even though we have a minimum number of holiday days per year (as opposed to a maximum).

And it turns out finding it hard to take holiday is a pretty common psychological trait in humans. As Maria, our Head of Product, puts it in this blog post:

"We need to feel like we belong at work. We need to feel wanted, needed, effective, and liked. And to that end, a whole host of emotions motivate us to work and work hard: not least of all conscientiousness and loyalty ... People always choose to belong. Better to be tired than to be rejected."

Put simply, taking holiday when everyone else is pushing through can feel hard to do in practice.

The solution 🎓

We cast our minds back to the last time we had to do terms at schools or uni and spotted a pattern. Terms always finish with a holiday, when crucially, everyone takes time off together 💡

It makes sense. Summer holidays would have felt a lot less relaxing if a few people from your class had been going in every day to practice quadratic equations and read Macbeth.

So we've decided to have a 'Spill Bank holiday', where the whole company takes time off — proper time off, where no one is worrying about what they're missing out on, or tempted to check Slack every now and then. Think Christmas, minus the excessive eating and drinking (but definitely including the excessive playing of board games). Like a Bank holiday, it doesn't come out of anyone's holiday allowance: it's an extra chance to recharge and reset. This time round, the Spill Bank holiday falls on Monday 5 July.

What this means for you 🤔

All essential Spill functions remain open: all our therapists are working as usual, Spill services (Ask a Therapist and therapy sessions) will happen just like normal, and there is someone at Spill HQ on call every day. But the idea is to take a break together as a company and so a few things will be different: