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Time Out: take time to unplug

More and more we're hearing that by unplugging from work regularly, you can improve productivity, focus and mental health, and simultaneously lower stress levels.

Since introducing the Unplugged programme in 2016, we have been committed to helping our people take time to focus on things that are important to them. Finding a healthy work-life balance can be a challenge, and the agile working policies and practices aim to lend a hand, for example by introducing flexible working, compressed working weeks in summer and additional leave purchase.

The Time Out policy was launched in November 2018 to help our colleagues sustain a healthy work-life balance, which can be challenging without support from the business. It's a new policy in the Deloitte Unplugged programme that allows people who have a permanent contract and at least twelve months' service to apply for a block of four weeks of unpaid leave each year.

We know our people lead busy lives and might have personal projects or passions they would love to dedicate more time and energy to. Time Out can be used for a myriad of reasons, like catching up with family, travelling, chilling at home or learning a new skill. People don't need to specify why the leave is being requested. The only requirement is that they sit down with their manager and agree how their work will be covered while they're away.

We are delighted that we have already had 30 people request Time Out since the launch at the end of 2018. These early adopters range from graduates to directors and come from different sectors across the business.

Dane Hickey, senior manager in Audit & Assurance, reached out to us with his Time Out experience:

"This Summer I took the plunge and decided to take a month off from work, and embark on an intensive yoga teacher training (called a "YTT 200 HR Training"). I have been practicing yoga for many years, and have wanted to be trained as a teacher since I was a teenager, when I first discovered yoga. The experience has been so rewarding on so many levels… Taking this time to achieve a life goal has been one of the best investments in myself, and means that I am now able to teach yoga to others and share the benefits and joy that a practice brings. Not only this, but it has opened up other avenues and experiences in my life, and brought me back to my passions and what motivates me. I'm very grateful to have had this time, and will definitely avail of the policy again."

Donal Óg McCarthy, director in Consulting, also availed of Time Out and shared the positive outcome of his "longest summer holiday in years" with the department:

"I am just back from my longest summer holiday in years and I must say it was wonderful. I spent loads of time outdoors and with my family enjoying the fantastic summer weather. Over the years as both my personal and professional life have gotten busier taking time to relax and reflect has become so important. Over my holidays I got to do things that were on my bucket list for a while like sail in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, go kayaking in Dublin Bay and spend extra time with my two small boys at home just doing fun activities."

We hope that Time Out will continue to provide a way for people to improve their work-life balance for years to come!

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