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UK CEO gives employees paid leave for entire month of August. This is why…


In an era of hustle culture, great resignation, burn out, a CEO stood out for letting all her employees take leave for the entire month of August, and to top it off she gave them paid leave! 64 Million Artists co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jo Hunter in an interview has said ‘in the UK, we see being productive as sitting at our desks churning out emails, but what makes a lasting impact in businesses is innovation, inclusion, and ideas.’

In an exclusive interview with Business Insider, Jo Hunter has talked about ‘following what is important’ in order to get ‘good work’. According to the report, 64 Million Artists followed a four day work week, and remote working during the pandemic. 

However, Hunter noticed that her colleagues were burnt out as the world recovered from it and demand for our creativity workshops increased. That is when she decided to let her employees go on a paid leave for the entirety of August. “I’d read Brene Brown’s essay about her company giving everyone four weeks off in August and decided to follow suit,” Hunter said. 

“No emails on phones or computers. Staff would still get paid, but would not work for a whole month.”

“When we got back to the office last September we were better at making decisions. The break meant we returned with clarity and ambition, allowing us to come up with more innovative ideas,” Hunter told Business Insider

On being enquired about the results of this innovative move, Hunter said, “The company has grown significantly since last August. We’ve hired four new people and have started some exciting programs. We are expecting to increase our turnover by about 50% this year.”

“There weren’t any significant financial downsides because we work with schools, universities, and community services that slow down in the summer,” she added. 

“As a nation, we’re hardwired to think our validity comes from how hard we work. But when people have the space to pursue their own interests you get so much more out of them at work.” Jo Hunter remarked. 

“The biggest pushback we get is that this break only works for us because we are a small company and August is a quiet month. But closing for a few weeks is common in companies across Finland, France, Spain, and many other countries.” Hunter told Business Insider on repercussion from industries for her methodology that challenged tha canonical ideology. 

“What I’ve discovered about taking August off as a business owner is not to shut down the possibility of doing something that isn’t the norm. Giving people more freedom, not less, produces better ideas and more productive employees.” Hunter said in the interview. 

64 Million Artists helps employees in companies, educational institutions and, and other organisations rediscover their creativity.


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Updated: 03 Sep 2023, 06:12 PM IST

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.