Accomplishing great things can be like climbing a mountain—it requires stamina, emotional support, and the right pace to be rewarded by the beautiful view at the end. Going too fast will burn you out and it can feel really lonely without encouragement or connection. At BenchSci, we have audacious goals to revolutionize drug discovery for the benefit of human health, and we want to make sure our team members have everything they need to reach the next peak! That’s why we’re proud to launch four new initiatives to give our team more opportunities to rest, travel, and connect with those they care about most. This includes offering an extended leave to long-tenured team members, scheduling additional company-wide holidays throughout the year, and allowing more flexibility to work from anywhere in the world.

These are challenging times, with the future of the COVID pandemic still uncertain and many of us working remotely full- or part-time (either by preference or necessity). Though remote work has its advantages (which led us to become a remote-first company), we know that—especially working in a fast-paced company like BenchSci—it can sometimes be hard to take regular breaks or define clear boundaries between work and home life.

The pandemic has further complicated our ability to detach from work by significantly limiting recreation and travel options for much of the world. It can be tough for people to justify using vacation days when there’s nothing to do and nowhere to go—they may feel it just isn’t worth returning to the backlog of work that has been piling up while they were away. Not only that, some people are far from their loved ones and haven’t been able to spend time with them for two years.

We hope these “resting points” will allow our team members to stop and take a breath before they begin to feel overwhelmed (without having to worry about what might come up while they’re away) and help them maintain the important connections that make their lives fulfilling.

Four-week sabbatical after five years

We believe it’s important to recognize and reward the dedication of long-tenured team members and provide them an opportunity to recharge and refuel before climbing the next mountain. To this end, beginning in January 2022, team members who have completed five years of continuous service with BenchSci will be eligible for a four-week sabbatical. We’re referring to this program as Base Camp 5

Work from anywhere for 90 days

As a hypergrowth tech company with ambitious goals to revolutionize medical research, we’ve always encouraged our team members to foster their sense of exploration and discovery. To facilitate this and support work-life integration, we’re offering eligible team members the freedom to work from any country outside their own for up to 90 days per calendar year. While this isn’t time off, we want team members to be able to take advantage of this program to travel and enjoy exciting new experiences while they continue their impactful work. This is also intended to give team members more opportunities to visit family living in other countries from whom they have been isolated for an extended period of time due to the pandemic. We’re calling this program Roam Like You're Working from Home.

More long weekends during the summer months

For the past two years, we’ve had BenchSci holidays to extend the Canada Day/Independence Day long weekend by an additional day. We wanted to reward our team with a bit more time to recharge after a challenging but successful first half of the year. Thanks to the overwhelmingly positive response, we’ve decided to have even more BenchSci summer breaks going forward. Starting in 2022, BenchSci holidays will take place every other Friday in July and August. Everyone at BenchSci will have these days off, aside from a few key personnel who will remain on call to keep the lights on and maintain essential operations (to whom we are very grateful). We hope these additional shared days off will give our team members more time to unwind and enjoy the summer months without nagging thoughts of the workload that’s piling up while they’re away. 

Two weeks off for the winter holidays

In addition to more summer holidays, we are extending our winter break to two full weeks, from December 22nd to January 4th, inclusive. Again, everyone at BenchSci will have these days off, aside from those few on call to maintain essential operations. We want to give our team members more time to celebrate with family, reflect on the past year, and prepare themselves to hit the ground running in the new year.

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Written By:
Vanessa Ribreau (she/her)