Coinbase Announces 4 Weeks of Shutdown in 2022 to Avoid Employee Burnout


Coinbase, a major crypto exchange in the US, has stated that it will provide its employees one week off each quarter in 2022 to recuperate and recharge after “long days and long weeks” of intensive work. Coinbase’s Chief People Officer L.J. Brock wrote in a company blog post that “nearly the entire company will shut down” for four weeks this year to allow for workers to recover after working heavy workloads. Brock further added that Coinbase employees are not necessarily limited to 40-hour work weeks.

“We realised in 2020 that many employees weren’t taking enough time off to recharge, either because they didn’t want to force their teammates to cover for them or because they didn’t want to fall behind on their work,” Brock said. “We knew this was unsustainable, so we scheduled a recharge week at the end of 2020 and two recharge weeks in 2021, when nearly the entire company would shut down Subsequent employee surveys made it clear: Recharge weeks work.”

“Four weeks of coordinated recharge time might sound like a lot of time off for a company in hypergrowth, but given the intensity of our work throughout the year, we think this is the best way to ensure our pace is sustainable for the long term,” Brock added.

The announcement comes as many American workers fight back against harsh working conditions, which often leads to career moves or resigning without a plan — a trend termed “the Great Resignation” by netizens.

Coinbase made changes to its policy to allow workers to work remotely from their homes at the onset of the pandemic, and CEO Brian Armstrong said the company would continue to do so once the “restrictions of quarantine” are lifted. As part of its mission to “being remote-first,” the crypto exchange stated in May that it intends to totally shut its San Francisco headquarters sometime in 2022.

The exchange also tried out “recharge weeks” in 2020, which as per an internal survey did help more than half of the workforce recuperate. However, Brock notes in his blog post that despite the addition of “recharge weeks,” a considerable portion of the workforce weren’t quite able to schedule vacations for those weeks due to the workload.

Scheduling a week off here and there isn’t an entirely new concept though. A number of advertising agencies in the US offered an entire week off to employees around Labour Day. While, the likes of LinkedIn, Hootsuite, and Twitch offered employees extended breaks at other times.

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