Bumble did not respond to The Washington Post’s request seeking more details on the policy, but Bumble chief executive Whitney Wolfe Herd was credited with the move in a widely reported tweet by Clare O’Connor, Bumble’s head of editorial content, which has since been deleted.
Bumble first mentioned its plan to give workers a fully paid, fully offline week of extra vacation in April.
The efforts to curb burnout in the workplace reflect a growing awareness of how the phenomenon can hamper workers’ mental health and diminish productivity. In 2019, the World Health Organization included burnout in its International Classification of Diseases by recognizing it as an occupational phenomenon but not a medical condition.
According to the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), considered the gold standard for measuring burnout, burnout occurs when three factors are present at once: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and a diminished sense of personal accomplishment.
The MBI’s authors say burnout is not an individual problem tied to personal attitudes and performance, but rather a manifestation of how people respond to their social and work environments.
“The structure and functioning of the workplace shape how people interact with each other, carry out their jobs, and how they feel about this environment,” the authors wrote in a 2019 blog post. “The burnout of individual workers often says more about the workplace conditions than it does about the person.”
The past year has been a busy one for Bumble, which grew to more than 700 employees worldwide and launched its initial public offering in February. (It also owns the app Badoo, which is widely used in Latin America and parts of Europe.) The nearly seven-year-old dating app, in which women must initiate the first message, remained busy during the pandemic, reporting that “virtual dating” through video chats increased 70 percent on the app since shutdowns began in March 2020.
Since spring 2020, several tech companies, including LinkedIn and Hootsuite, have announced similar time-off allowances. In both cases, the companies cited the toll of the pandemic and signs of burnout among employees.
Hootsuite, a social media management platform, noted in its May 27 announcement to employees that many workers had significantly upped their screen time as a result of pandemic-related isolation and stay-at-home orders.
“Even when we’re not working, we’re thinking about work,” a company representative wrote.