This precedent has cast a shadow over a recently announced improvement in the company’s holiday offering.
Cisco is prolonging its annual Christmas holiday shutdown. As a result, doubling the amount of mandatory paid time off for its more than 38,000 North American staff this holiday season.
Why change time off?
Typically, Cisco uses its holiday shutdown to reduce operating expenses, save energy usage and encourage employee wellbeing.
However, many appear to be surprised by Insider‘s report that the usual three days mandatory time off has been extended to six. Cisco will shut down between December 28th and December 30th, and once more from January 3rd through the 5th.
It was also found that Cisco is using December 23rd as a so-called “Day for Me,” a company-wide paid holiday. Similar strategies have been implemented by companies like Citi who require employees to take a day off from Zoom calls.
The internal announcement explained: “This time away not only benefits our wellbeing but it also has a positive financial impact on our business and helps support our sustainability goals. This is why the executive leadership team has decided to extend the shutdown.”
Nonetheless, some employees are concerned about the announcement. One anonymous employee told Insider: “I think a lot of people are on edge about what’s to come, it’s created a lot of internal noise.”
The employee went on to say: “If you’re being forced to take specific days off and you don’t have a choice, it doesn’t really feel like a vacation.”
While many will be surprised by employees having negative reactions to getting more paid leave, it is clear that the close proximity of the stock news and the holiday plans has led to growing concerns.
Despite this worry, a spokesperson said: “Cisco employees look forward to the holiday shutdown each year to disconnect and recharge for the new year.
“We also know that this past year has been difficult for our employees as they continue to juggle work-life demands and uncertainty amid an ongoing pandemic.”
They also noted that the move to extend the mandatory break was based upon wellbeing initiatives.
It is unclear what the demand for the break was, but given that this year has seen a sharp spike in burnout and job walkouts in many businesses, some employees will undoubtedly look forward to a break.