Imagine you have six to twelve weeks off from work. What would you do?
It’s a question I never had to think about until now. Schneider Electric offers employees a lot of great benefits, but their new Recharge Program was one that really excited me. The program allows employees to take anywhere between 6 to 12 weeks of paid time away from work. The minute I read about it I was intrigued and knew I would participate.
My Planned Recharge Break
In 2024, after my kids head to college, I will take a 6-week paid leave. During my leave in a few years, I am planning to spend two weeks of the summer with my husband traveling the Rockies as we zero in on where we want to retire. As skiers we’ve found many places with the winter activities we love, but want to make sure the towns we like are a fit in summer, too! I also plan to do some traveling with my long-time girlfriends, as they will be transitioning to empty nesters like us. I’m excited to have 6 weeks to focus on me, my interests, my friendships and my well-being.
As a mom, I know I could have used this program earlier in my career to spend a summer traveling with my children. Before I had kids, I might have used 6 weeks to travel or volunteer abroad.
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So how exactly does the program work?
I elected 2 weeks in 2021, but only have to pay for 6 total days (3 days each week) since the company provides 4 days (2 days each week) as a match, since I have been with the company more than 5 years.
Note: Even if you’ve worked for Schneider Electric less than five years, you’re still eligible for Company-provided Recharge Days! If you’ve worked <5yrs, you’ll receive 1 Company-provided day/week (where as someone like Carolyn receives 2 Company-provided days/week).
I plan to purchase 2 additional weeks in both 2022 and 2023. The purchase is at my current salary, while I will be paid at the salary I am making during the leave. It’s a risk-free program because the time I purchased belongs to me, and if I leave Schneider Electric, my investment will be returned to me.
Paid Time Off – Use It!
I encourage everyone to use their paid time off (PTO) to disconnect from work and come back refreshed. In fact, I’m heading to Greece and leaving my computer in the US so that I embrace my travel experience.
I’m grateful for the innovate approach Schneider Electric and our HR team are taking in providing for our well-being. Utilizing time off and new ways of working policies are giving employees the power to drive our lives and careers, work more efficiently, and take a much needed break.
About the Author
Carolyn Blaylock is a Tools and System Director at Schneider Electric, and is a mom of active teen boys. She and her family enjoy time traveling, being on the water and skiing. For quiet time, Carolyn enjoys reading historical fiction and memoir.
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