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Seen At 11: New Work Perk Found In Long-Term Vacations

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Imagine not showing up to work for six months, even a year, and still having a job to go back to.

As CBS 2’s Maurice DuBois reported Friday, more and more businesses are allowing their employees to take weeks, months, even an entire year off from work while still keeping their jobs.

The new work trend is called “the sabbatical,” which allows employees a break from emails, phone calls and business meetings – all with the blessing of their boss, DuBois reported.

“You come back as a changed person,” said Brian David Johnson, who took a sabbatical from work.

“The sabbatical is a very innovative way for companies to hang on and keep some of the really prized individuals,” explained Dan Ryan, of the Society for Human Resources Management.

The sabbatical is traditionally reserved for college professors who take paid time off every seventh year for study or travel.

Now, parts of corporate America are beginning to embrace the idea, allowing employees to take time to travel, volunteer, or whatever else they want to do, DuBois reported.

Brian David Johnson recently took a year off from his job at Intel. “It allowed me to sort of get out of the mindset of corporate America and actually delve into more creative projects.”

“If you look at our current reality, we’ve got longer work days, people are drowning in data overloads. Sabbaticals offer those people an opportunity to refuel and recharge,” said Elizabeth Pagano McGuire, of Yoursabbatical.com.

A recent survey found 16 percent of companies now allow unpaid sabbatical leave, some even offer paid leave.

“Other companies will say you can keep your benefits but we’re only going to pay half your salary. And there are even circumstances where other people will take a sabbatical that will be unpaid but they will have a job when they actually come back,” Ryan said.

Workers who take this extended leave typically need to meet certain requirements to be considered for sabbatical, such as being employed for a set number of years or doing something specific like volunteering.

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