Part of the mission at Range is to help build healthy companies, so we need to make sure we are healthy ourselves.
We’re taking a summer break, from Monday, July 4 through Friday, July 8, 2022.
At Range, we shut down twice per year: once in the summer and at the end of the year. A shutdown is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a week where no one on the team works. We set our auto-responders and staff a barebones support team, but otherwise, we’re offline and not working.
Like any form of PTO, a shutdown helps our team to take the time they need to rest, to recuperate, to take care of themselves, their families, and to do things that make them happy and well-connected.
Shutting down the entire company, however, has a few benefits beyond the standard PTO. (We took the idea from LinkedIn!)
“It's nice to get into the flow at work, but extended breaks are an exciting opportunity to shake up the status quo. I'm looking forward to our summer shutdown because it will help me disrupt my daily routines/thought patterns and return to my projects with a fresh perspective.”
— Charlotte, Marketing Generalist at Range
1. Companies ensure everyone gets a minimum amount of time away from work. To start, unlimited PTO policies, which are common among startups, are often underutilized. Because there is no specific budget for days off, teammates can be uncertain about what’s appropriate, reducing the actual vacation they take.
With shutdowns, companies can ensure that everyone gets a minimum amount of time away from work — regardless of their team or manager role modeling.
“It’s really nice to have a break halfway through the year. Glad Range prioritizes time where everyone can disconnect together.”
— Taylor, Product Designer at Range
2. Complete shutdowns allow everyone to switch off, without worrying about checking in, missing out, or returning to a pile of email. For leaders, vacations are often only partial because they want to make sure their team isn’t blocked. But with a shutdown, even leaders can sign off for the week.
3. Many team members take days off around July 4th. While it might seem counterintuitive to shut down for a week to increase productivity, we’ve noticed that folks often take a few days off around the 4th of July anyways, but without a designated shutdown, teammates often take different days — meaning the team is at half capacity for even longer.
By designating a shutdown, the company can consolidate the time off and encourage everyone to be back to work on the same day.
4. And finally, taking collective time off creates a fundamentally different experience than individual vacations. Most people work on different rhythms. Some see the year as a marathon that should be taken at a steady pace, others prefer to treat it like interval training. As a result, most people take vacations at different times and different durations.
“It's helpful to have a long break where everyone is taking the same time away. Returning to work without a bunch of "what happened while I was out?" catchup to do makes it that much more restful and recharging.”
— Sean, Front-End Engineer at Range
With a shutdown, everyone is off at the same time, and it creates an experience much like a school holiday. As the break approaches, there’s a shared sense of excitement and timeliness: the approaching break creates a deadline and boundary between H1 and H2. And as the team returns from the break, everyone has stories to share and has had time to relax, creating a new energy heading into the next period. Juxtapose that against an individual taking a week off and returning refreshed to an exhausted team — it’s not the same.
Consistently, one of the favorite perks for teammates is the simplest: having time off. Having a scheduled shutdown is a great policy for both recruiting and retention.
“Having a week off in the summer does wonders for the mind and body. It's like the required resting phase before and after a race with the end result being more productive and efficient when I return.”
— Nick, Account Manager at Range
Though our product is easy to utilize, we realize that issues and questions still arise. During the shutdown, the Range team is still offering support each day of the week. Our responses may be delayed, but we are happy to assist you more fully when we return.
If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or find the chatbot at range.co.