Orange offers its employees “breathing time” – Economy

Orange offers its employees “breathing time” – Economy
Written by on100dayloans

The “intergenerational” agreement signed within Orange in December 2021 provides for the creation of a “breathing time”. What is it about ?

This is a real innovation created by Orange. Nothing like it had ever been done anywhere else. Until now, we had no system aimed at employees during their career. With us, many of them have been there for a long time and it can be completely legitimate, after ten, twenty or thirty years within the company, to want to take a break, to implement a project that we had in mind and that we had put aside for lack of availability. We therefore imagined offering some of our employees the opportunity to get some fresh air, to breathe, to open up to other environments, other ways of doing things, other cultures…

Emmanuelle Bedouet, Director of Group Professional Routes at Orange.
Emmanuelle Bedouet, Director of Group Professional Routes at Orange. (Picture Orange)

How will this work?

As soon as you have ten years of seniority and at least one year in your current position, you may be eligible for this “breathing time”. It provides for four methods: you can either leave for training (which is not necessarily related to your professional activity), practice skills sponsorship with an association, work in a start-up or an SME to exploit your experience in a different environment, or work as a teacher or coach.

So it’s not a sabbatical at all…

No, it has nothing to do. If you want to go around the world with your children, which happens to some of our employees, you have other possibilities for that. This “breathing time” can last from three months to a year. For the moment, it is a two-year experiment, over 2022 and 2023, with 250 breaths that can be granted per year, equally between executives and non-executives.

We can understand the interest of such a formula for an employee, but what is that of Orange?

It is first of all to have “reboosted” employees! Breathing a different air, going to train outside, taking a step back or height from your daily professional activity, this can allow you to come back with recharged batteries. In addition, it is also skills development for our employees, personal development. I am convinced that it is a possible lever for everyone’s professional development and this diversity of backgrounds can be very favorable to the commitment of employees within the company. And these are also actions in favor of our ecosystem, whether in favor of the associations or start-ups that we support. In the end, Orange can benefit greatly from this device.

How is it funded?

Even if these are personal projects of its employees, Orange wanted to contribute by maintaining their remuneration at 70%. The missing 30% can be financed through each employee’s time savings account. For the moment, we have about fifty requests under consideration and we are optimistic for the future.

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