CHRO insights | What can HR learn from AMD's 'Recharge Days'?

What can HR learn from AMD's 'Recharge Days'?

When the pandemic hit in 2020, many employees were forced to either postpone or cancel holidays or annual leave due to Covid-19 and travel-related restrictions.

With many being cooped up at home, and companies trying to keep afloat amid huge uncertainties, workloads quickly shot up and people would often find themselves working longer hours.

This chimes with research, including a study of 3.1million global workers published by the National Bureau of Economic Relations – which looked at employee behaviours before and after Covid-19 lockdowns. The survey found that the working day lasted almost an hour longer (48.5 minutes). Separate data from NordVPN found that, when a large portion of UK businesses started to work remotely in March 2020, the majority of professionals put in an extra two hours outside of their usual working day.

Particularly during the lockdown periods and the peak of the pandemic, it was the blurring of the lines between home and work life that sparked the implementation of workplace initiatives sought to promote good wellbeing and to help curb potential burnout.

AMD’s ‘Recharge Days’

One example of this can be seen at AMD. The global company, which was founded in 1969 as a Silicon Valley start-up, previously created a new global benefit called ‘Recharge Days’ in an effort to curb potential burnout. In a recent interview with HR Grapevine, Robert Gama, Chief HR Officer at AMD, explained the rationale behind this. “‘Recharge Days’ are a “set of designated vacation days during which the whole business is encouraged (although not forced) to collectively take time off to ensure employees disconnect from work,” he explained. “The thought behind the initiative was that, if most employees took their vacation together, they will be able to switch off from work and fully recharge,” Gama added.

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