We have unlimited holidays at Awell. The time off is paid and does not require the upfront approval of the manager. We all should take holidays!
We have a culture of autonomy therefore we are the ones responsible for enjoying our holidays and organizing our work so when we decide to enjoy them, it does not have a negative impact on our colleagues or the company.
Autonomy does not mean absolute freedom to do what we want. We all work together toward a common goal and are dependent on each other, and every action and decision we make is about building trust in each other.
We are able to make our own decisions about our holidays and this kind of ownership is inherently connected with accountabilities. We must:
Make judgment calls about when is the best time to leave on holiday, taking into account the following:
Business-critical initiatives we are involved in and established delivery timelines.
Time off our teammates are taking, therefore coordinate internally.
Client agreements and deadlines we have established with them.
Make sure our work is covered when we are on leave:
For example, we prep handover, we make sure somebody else can drive critical initiatives when me or you, are away.
We do not delay business critical stuff because we are away.
We check with the rest of the team who goes on holiday when in order to ensure critical business areas are covered.
In case of conflict, we work it out within the team. We all depend on each other and cannot organize our holidays in a vacuum (for example asking “Can we afford that 50% of the team is away at the same time in this month's context?” etc.)
In summary, we trust that everybody knows when is the best time to leave for holidays, and will take time off in the context of the business while coordinating with the wider team.
Please be proactive and give information in advance to your team members
Please do discuss holidays as a team ( coordinate with each other)
Please fill in your planned holidays in Holidays at Awell Health. We use this to collaborate and for compliance, especially in the case of employees on employment contracts (filling those holidays here does not mean you do not have to proactively let others know that you do plan time off, especially longer ones)
As we are operating as a remote team, it's more important than non-remote teams to make sure your teammates have the necessary context when you are away (on holiday).
We all work hard, especially right before taking some time off, but leaving without making sure that context and next steps are clear potentially slows down the whole company. This means you have to prioritize a proper handover right before you leave (and thus deprioritize other stuff). Don't assume others have the context.
As long as we're a small team, chances are high there are several people with unique knowledge and skills. As we grow the team over time, this will become less of a challenge.
In relay races, it's often the teams who excel at passing the baton who win the race than the teams who have the fastest individual runners.
Make sure your calendar reflects your status (set to OOO + decline meetings)
Reflect on what unique knowledge you have on running projects that are not written down yet and write it down in the proper place in Confluence or in Jira or in an email). Note: the amount of knowledge that falls under this definition should be minimal because as a remote team, a maximum of knowledge should always be documented
Reflect on what actions should be taken by team members, customers, or other counterparties while you’re away and list them on a handover page, if possible linking to the proper context.
In Slack, mention the existence of your page and tag the relevant people
When does this not apply
If you’re planning on staying available (reading Slack / your emails) during your time away.
In case of burnout, the team should lift you and chase the context before you’re off instead of relying on you to come with it proactively
We understand that some A(wel)liens might want/need to take time off for a longer period at some point in their life and are supportive of that.
Our sabbatical policy is the following:
All A(wel)liens who have been with Awell for at least 3 years can take a sabbatical.
A(wel)liens can take a sabbatical every 5 years - so, for example, once after being 3 years at the Awell and once after being 8 years at Awell.
The sabbatical can take up to 3 months, of which 4 weeks are paid. The rest is an unpaid holiday.
The sabbatical has to be announced to the manager at least 3 months in advance (excl. exceptional circumstances)
Note: we have a separate policy for parental leave.