Skip to content

Dwight’s Sabbatical Benefit

1 June 2023

A Month in Greece with our Managing Director, Jessica Bates

This week on the blog, we’re taking a look at Dwight’s unique sabbatical perk with someone who has experienced it first-hand. After nearly seven years of dedicated service, our Managing Director Jessica Bates headed to Greece on her four-week hiatus. 

Throughout our conversation we dive into the decision to formalize the sabbatical benefit across the organization and discuss Jessica’s feelings leading up to and following her completely unplugged month in Greece.

Q: I’m excited we get to do this & can properly catch up about your sabbatical! To kick us off, can you tell us a little bit about what the sabbatical benefit is and why we have it?

A: Ahhh our sabbatical benefit… My favorite topic! I’m proud to say that every member of the Dwight team is awarded a month-long sabbatical after 5 years of employment. Actually, we’re not just offered the opportunity, we’re actively encouraged to take the time off, enjoy life outside of work, and recharge our batteries. 

While there are a ton of benefits that come with a formal sabbatical perk, the main objective is simply to support the individuals within our organization in a more personal way. Dwight is one of the rare companies that actually values a healthy work-life balance and recognizes the potential consequences of burnout. Having the opportunity to reset does wonders for an individual’s well-being, with the added benefit of increased productivity and an even better company culture for the organization. 

Q:  I remember how crazy the weeks leading up to your trip were – can you tell us about how you were feeling when you decided to take your sabbatical?

A: Those that know me well know how passionate I am about my role at Dwight and the CPG space in general. I’m actually one of those annoying people that says “it doesn’t feel like work” because I truly enjoy what I do. But I have to admit that after seven years and what seems like thousands of Zoom calls, I was burnt out. 

One Friday evening, after a long and busy week, I mentioned to Ben (Dwight Co-Founder and CEO) that I needed a break and was going to start planning a week-long vacation. Ben immediately suggested I take advantage of my month-long sabbatical. If I’m being totally honest, my first reaction to his suggestion was laughter. It seemed impossible to drop everything for a full month. But Ben insisted, reminding me that we have a great team that is more than capable and happy to support while I take a month to recharge. I quickly realized that he was absolutely correct and by the time that weekend was over, I had flights to Greece (the first place on my travel bucket list) booked!

 Q: It sounds like Ben and the rest of the team were really encouraging you to do this. How did that feel, to have that level of support from your company?

A: I felt appreciated, heard and supported as a human and not just an employee. It was almost like being told, “we see you, we appreciate your work, and you deserve this.”

Q: It looked like you had the best time. Do you have any highlights from your trip you’d be willing to share?

A: Yes! I love talking about my trip! 

I spent the entire month in Greece where I had some of the most incredible experiences of my life. I was fortunate to have some of my best friends join me during parts of the trip, where we boated in Mykonos and watched the incredible sunsets of Santorini. I also had some amazing solo experiences; like when I rented a Vespa and drove through the mountain villages of Crete, and when I explored some of Greece’s most secluded coves with the help of a local skipper and his boat. It was an unbelievable month that I feel privileged and grateful to have experienced and one that I will certainly never forget.

Q: It must have been a massive adjustment though, leaving work behind for a month. How did that feel?

A: I was anxious leading up to the trip but ultimately my team made it easy to let go once I was there. There were a few times when I tried to check in with the group but, as I found out upon my return, the team was instructed to ignore me or tell me to stop working and go have fun if I reached out. I felt incredibly supported, which made it easy to forget about work and truly be present in Greece. 

Q: As one of Dwight’s Managing Directors, you were part of the decision to formally introduce the sabbatical benefit. Having experienced it for yourself, did you feel like it was successful?

A: Yes, for sure. Taking that time to myself turned out to be exactly what I needed. By the end of my trip, I was already looking forward to getting back to the office. So much so that I had a running list of notes on my phone of new ideas and initiatives to implement when I got back. Overall though, I think the most prominent feeling was gratitude — to my team for the support while I was away and to Dwight for showing their appreciation by giving me the opportunity to take a step back, rejuvenate, and have an experience of a lifetime. 

Working with Dwight…

For us, growth doesn’t stop at the client level. There’s always an opportunity to make your mark, whether it’s by collaborating across departments or introducing a fresh, revamped approach to an existing process. Our team pushes the business and industry forward every day. Want to join us?


We’re Hiring