Commentary: Would you dare take 365 days of paid leave given by your company?

3 months ago 33

SINGAPORE: If you were offered 365 days of paid leave, would you take it all in one shot, leaving your position for an extended duration, or encash it? 

A man in China must have asked himself this improbable question when he won exactly that at a company dinner in April, winning the envy of millions online. However, it has also sparked discussions online about whether this prize brings mixed blessings. 

Some fantasised about enjoying a long (company-endorsed) break from work and having the time to pursue personal interests such as travelling. Others warned that he might risk losing his relevance and value in the workplace, returning to find he has been replaced, especially in a fast-changing and competitive environment.

Such a reward of extended paid leave seems to go very quickly from looking like a blessing to a curse in disguise. Wouldn’t being absent for 365 days straight show that we have become dispensable at work? 


With the economic outlook still uncertain and retrenchments rising for the third consecutive quarter in Singapore, it might seem like a good thing to be seen as indispensable at work.

Employees afraid to lose a steady income may hope to ensure job security by working longer hours, taking fewer days off or raising hands for even more projects

In an environment where employees are expected to be constantly productive and innovative, having colleagues cover our work duties too often or for such long stretches of time might give us a sense of insecurity. Will employers question our commitment, productivity or loyalty to the company? 

What if our team continues to meet its targets without us, and the company keeps thriving? What does it then say about us and our work?

Such concerns are pa...

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