Well if the answer to this is yes, then there is good news, as the number of London companies offering sabbaticals is increasing and even better if you work in one of the following sectors, the Government, the public sector and the finance and insurance sector, as they are apparently best for offering them.  Not particularly surprising given the increased pressures these areas have faced in recent times.

So what is a sabbatical?  Well it could be described as a grownup gap year, but essentially it is unpaid extended leave from work and taken with a purpose i.e. to travel, write a book or achieve some other life goal.

There are some fantastic benefits to taking a sabbatical, such as it being a great opportunity to enhance your work/life balance and truly give yourself the chance to achieve a real life goal.

From an employer’s perspective there are benefits to be had for them too. They are able to retain some great talent that they have spent time and money nurturing and knowing that upon their return they will have an employee who is possibly better educated about life or indeed themselves. There are also salary cost savings, especially if they do not need to cover the absence.

We do have some advice for those of you thinking about taking a sabbatical…

Firstly, remember it is unpaid leave, so plan ahead to ensure you can cover the costs, and if you do, the reward in exchange for your salary will be complete clear headspace, revitalisation and the potential to see life, including your job, in a whole new light.

Secondly, make sure you have a clear purpose for taking the sabbatical, it could be easy to lose sight of what you are doing, so put a time limit on it and set goals that you need to reach allowing you to accomplish what you set out to do.

Lastly, you will need support from friends, your employer and most importantly your family, as they will be embarking along this journey with you, even if not in the physical sense.

Employers, don’t be afraid to offer sabbaticals as a perk, it can attract the talent you want and help retain them. Being fully supportive and helping them get back into work will be rewarded with an employee that is willing to give it their all with a fresh new approach.

If you would like more HR help or advice then please do get in touch.