One of the factors when it comes to choosing a company to work for would be the benefits and perks offered. Ever since the dot com boom in Silicon Valley all those years ago with startups minting more and more paper millionaires (and billionaires) by the day, the work culture at offices have changed. The boring, old way of doing things are being phased out bit by bit even in the most stoic of office environments. In fact, going to work has been repackaged by many companies as though you were going to play and have a fun time. This is shaped through the environment and the way that the office is built and furbished. Gone are the nasty formal wear, and in come the turtlenecks and denim. Facebook is a social media giant that certainly wants a great working environment for its employees so that they are able to deliver the very best in terms of creativity and productivity. One of its perks that has just seen an improvement? A longer period of bereavement leave.
Basically, the new terms for bereavement leave goes like this: Facebook employees who have just lost immediate family members are able to have up to 20 days off from work, while the loss of an extended family member would see one being able to take up to 10 days off to mourn. This paid time to grieve after the death of family members, immediate and extended alike, has been welcomed by many working there. This particular move already went into effect as the world ushered in 2017 earlier this January 1, but it was just announced on Tuesday by chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg via a Facebook post. Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, technology executive Dave Goldberg, died all of a sudden a couple of years back.
Ms. Sandberg mentioned, “amid the nightmare of Dave’s death when my kids needed me more than ever, I was grateful every day to work for a company that provides bereavement leave and flexibility. I needed both to start my recovery. People should be able both to work and be there for their families. No one should face this trade-off.”
Not only that, Ms. Sandberg also stressed on how there is a need for public policies that will be able to ease the burden of caring for children as well as aging parents in addition to having ample time to recover from a huge personal blow such as the loss of a loved one. In the past, before this particular new extended bereavement leave, Facebook’s employees had half the amount of time to grieve. That meant 10 days of leave when it came to the loss of an immediate family member, and a mere five days where extended family is concerned.
Do you think this positive step in the right direction by Facebook will also be followed up by other companies, starting first in the Silicon Valley? Over in Asia where being hardworking or “seen” at the office is of paramount importance, bereavement leave for an immediate family member can be as few as just three days, showcasing the gulf in terms of compassion.