Bamboo Blog

Why Bambooligans Don’t Work on Their Birthdays

Happy Birthday to you.

Happy Birthday to you.

You’re an adult now,

So get back to work.

That’s not how the song goes. And as much as you love your coworkers, there are probably people you’d rather be splitting your favorite cake with on your birthday. Instead of making them eat cake with coworkers, and to help employees celebrate with a little “me” time, all Bambooligans get their birthday off. Here are a couple of reasons why we have a birthday benefit and a couple of the great results we see from it:

Adults deserve celebrations, too. (Plus, increase productivity.)

It’s totally acceptable—even expected—to celebrate birthdays as a kid. Cakes, parties, presents. But, for some reason, as soon as we hit adulthood we’re expected to skip the celebrations and treat our birthdays like any other day. Well, we don’t agree. We think grown ups should keep the birthday whimsy. Those little things make life fun (and a fun life is good for morale).

It’s true: sometimes you have to go to work on days you don’t want to. That’s unavoidable. But most people—even people with incredible jobs—aren’t thrilled about going to work on their birthday. So by encouraging employees to celebrate, we’re showing them we care about them on a level deeper than their work output. Plus, giving employees their day off makes them that much happier, and happy employees are 12 to 20 percent more productive.

A day off with no obligations. (Plus, increased engagement.)

What did you do with your last paid day off? Attend a family reunion? Take your child to the doctor? A lot of the time, employees don’t get to do what they want to with their days off. (Again, the responsible adult thing.) A birthday off can serve as a “free day” when employees can get a little “me” time with (hopefully) minimal intrusions. Here’s how a few Bambooligans have spent their day:

· I slept in, watched a soccer match, and went to an arcade with my kids. It felt like Bamboo gave me permission to do whatever I wanted, and at this stage of my life, that’s as good of a gift as I can get.”

· “I slept in and went running AND did yoga (I never get to do both in one day). I had lunch with family and friends. I had a lemonade. I really liked the fact that I didn’t have to DO anything. I could just do what I wanted to do.”

With all the professional and personal responsibilities they’re facing, many employees are stressed. In fact, 75 percent of companies say they struggle with overwhelmed employees. Another study found that only 9 percent of highly stressed employees are engaged. We understand that one birthday off doesn’t melt away all employee stress. But giving them a little “me” time does help our employees relax a bit and come back more focused and engaged.

The birthday benefit nitty gritty.

Just like most paid time-off policies, our birthday benefit has some details.

· Who is eligible? Everyone. Full timers get 8 hours paid, three-quarter timers get 6 hours paid, etc.

· When can employees take the day? On their birthday. If their birthday falls on a weekend or holiday, they can take off the day before or after the weekend or holiday. Many companies allow employees to pick a day off within a week of their birthday. Not us. We think this makes it more likely that employees will be selfless and use their day for practical reasons. We want this one day to be about that employee.

· Does that day accrue? Nope. If an employee works at Bamboo during their birthday, they get the day off. This creates less liability for the company (if an employee has 80 hours of vacation time saved up, that’s a financial liability on the company) while still giving employees a little extra time off.

We love adding benefits to our line up that help make employees’ lives better. Seemingly small benefits like birthdays off actually make a huge impact on employee experiences and your employer brand. Bamboo’s birthday benefit has helped encourage employees to celebrate and have a little “me” time, while also helping us increase employee productivity and engagement. Check out your benefits plan and see if joining the birthday benefit party would help your organization, too.

BambooHR is the #1 HR software for small and medium-sized businesses. We set you free from spreadsheets so you can do great work.

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