When I tell people I’m an executive assistant, I get a lot of references to the cult classic “The Devil Wears Prada.” I’m lucky in the sense that my bosses have never come near Miranda Priestly’s level of intensity, but I think the movie paints a fascinating image of the executive assistant role. I’m often asked if I’m always “on” 24/7 and if I ever get to take a break.
EAs deal with a lot of things that are sensitive in nature or difficult to manage by anyone who doesn’t hold a close relationship with the executive, so it can feel difficult to fully disconnect from work. I know I’m not alone in these feelings and there are people in many other roles who struggle with not-working anxieties. Due to the pandemic, the way we work is rapidly changing with the ability to work anywhere as an incredible benefit. However, with increased ability to work from home, work-life boundaries are blurrier.
I know personally that when I take vacation time, I still feel tempted to log on — to try and stay involved or even manage my workload for when I come back. I’ve seen companies try to mitigate this in a variety of ways: assigning certain people as backup when others are on vacation, or rerouting work to different team members. Recursion attacks this problem from multiple angles, one of them being the way the company handles paid time off.
Enter: The Recursion Winter Break.
Recursion asks employees to consistently go above and beyond. To balance this, Recursion also offers top tier benefits to keep its employees mentally and physically at the height of their game. One of the many great benefits is our twice-yearly company-wide week-long breaks. Winter break is intentionally aligned with the holidays so that while kids are out of school and family is in town, Recursionauts can be fully-present in the festivities.
Not only do I get uninterrupted PTO during the holidays, but I’m also planning to use my second favorite benefit during this time (it’s a close race). Recursion offers each employee a $50.00 monthly stipend to use on wellness. I personally love using mine to attend cooking classes and hone my chef skills — the zen and clarity I feel when I’m connecting with good people and good food is unparalleled.
As a kid summer meant three glorious months away from school. I think as an adult I’d probably die of boredom not working for three months, but two full weeks a year where I’m not getting piles of emails built sky-high waiting for me to return is beautiful. I love knowing that my execs aren’t caught in the middle of a dumpster fire while I’m out because they’re on a break too.
People need the reassurance that work can wait and that their mental health and relationships are the most important factors in their lives. Being able to fully disconnect is a gift, and I’m deeply grateful to the leadership at Recursion for giving us this opportunity to spend time with family, friends — and, if you're me this winter: drinking wine, watching cheesy holiday movies and enhancing my cooking skills.