Why Student Hubs started having closure weeks

Posted on: 29 July 2022

From August 1st to 5th, Student Hubs is closing its doors and sending its staff on holiday for our Summer Closure Week. Read more about why we have started this policy and how it benefits our employees.

During the pandemic, there were reported levels of increased stress in employees and higher levels of burnout across the UK’s workforce. Additionally, due to a reduced amount of opportunities to “go away” or have a “proper holiday”, many employers were finding that staff were not taking enough time off to have a break. 

Here at Student Hubs, we recognised that even though we have a minimum leave policy, there is still more we can do to support each other in taking a break. Our staff work incredibly hard to support the network of students and partners throughout the year and rest is a big part of ensuring that we continue to thrive in our roles. That is why we introduced a summer closure week in 2020, and have done it annually ever since. This is a dedicated week of holiday that does not come out of the team’s holiday allowance and provides many benefits to our staff.

Sophie Payne, our Networks Operator commented: 

“As an organisation whose work is tied to the academic year, having down time at the beginning of August helps us to come back together feeling fresh and rested, ready to start the next academic year. It’s kind of like a second New Year’s for us. Our August closure week is a hard end to the finishing year, gives us a refreshing start to the upcoming year and means we all get a break without our inboxes and Slack messages piling up.”

The benefits of having a closure week

Annual leave allows individuals to take time to rest and re-energise. This, in turn, can reduce chances of burnout, improve moods and allow staff to focus on themselves.

Having everyone off at the same time

Quite often, when we go on holiday, it can still be hard to switch off and not think about the work you will be coming back to. By getting all Student Hubs staff to commit to a week off at the same time, we are able to reduce the backlog of work which  comes in during the leave, supporting our team to actively disengage from work. Although we still invite our partners and students to engage with our work, we encourage the team to include the closure week details in their email signatures for the month prior to manage expectations and reduce general engagement over this time.

Resetting for the next academic year

Student Hubs’ mission is to mainstream student social action by providing social and environmental opportunities for young people to make meaningful change, learning how to use their skills and hopefully becoming active citizens for life. As a result, we follow the academic year cycle. By closing the first week of August, our staff have a clear wrap up point for the last impact year and can reset fully for the year to come. Creating this barrier helps us to protect and prioritise our time and build a more resilient mindset. 

How to support our closure week

We recognise that our closure week means we are unable to be reached! Additionally, Student Hubs will be out of the office at Hub Holiday from the 8th – 13th August – a space for us to work as a team and build up our priorities for the year to come. To support us throughout this time:

  • Explore our website and social media. A lot of what we do and how we can support you is on here! If you are interested in working with us, explore ways you want to get involved so that when we reconnect on the 15th, we are ready to support you.
  • Check out our blogs. Over the next few months, we will be sharing more about our approach to People and Culture. If you are interested in learning more about how we support our staff, keep an eye out for the monthly blog series. We start next week with our Escape the City score breakdown!

Thanks for your support, and we look forward to catching up with you when we’re back online later in August.

Sorcha Young

Sorcha Young is the Bristol Hub Manager, she also supports communications with the network. If you have questions or want to get in touch you can email her at manager@bristolhub.org.

Tags: People and Culture, Third Sector

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