Major United States crypto exchange Coinbase will be giving its employees one week off each quarter in 2022 to recharge after “long days and long weeks” of intense work.
In a Monday blog post, Coinbase chief people officer L. J. Brock said “Nearly the entire company will shut down” for four separate weeks this year as part of an experiment in allowing workers to recuperate after completing intense workloads. Brock said the exchange’s employees aren’t necessarily limited to 40-hour work weeks and may have to “pivot at a moment’s notice,” seemingly creating the potential for burnout.
“We realized in 2020 that many employees weren’t taking enough time off to recharge, either because they didn’t want to force their teammates to cover for them or because they didn’t want to fall behind on their work,” said Brock. “We knew this was unsustainable, so we scheduled a recharge week at the end of 2020 and two recharge weeks in 2021, when nearly the entire company would shut down. [...] Subsequent employee surveys made it clear: recharge weeks work.”
“Four weeks of coordinated recharge time might sound like a lot of time off for a company in hypergrowth, but given the intensity of our work throughout the year, we think this is the best way to ensure our pace is sustainable for the long term.”
The announcement comes as many U.S. workers are pushing back against unfavorable job conditions, often resulting in changing careers or quitting without a definitive plan — a trend many have started calling “the Great Resignation.” Cointelegraph reported in September that positions requiring expertise in crypto and blockchain increased in 2021, with many companies now offering crypto payments to capitalize on the space’s seemingly growing popularity and attract new workers.
At the start of the pandemic, Coinbase changed its policy to allow employees to work remotely from their homes, with CEO Brian Armstrong saying the company would continue to offer the option once the “restrictions of quarantine are over.” In May, the crypto exchange announced that it planned to completely close its San Francisco headquarters sometime in 2022 as part of its commitment to “being remote first.”
Coinbase is committed to being remote first. We announced we no longer have an HQ and as a next step, we’re closing our SF office (our former HQ) in 2022.— Coinbase News (@CoinbaseNews) May 5, 2021
Though not based in the United States, major crypto exchange Binance has taken a similar stance on having physical offices. The exchange has no formal headquarters, but its holding company is registered in the Cayman Islands, with previous connections to China, Japan, Malta and Seychelles. CEO Changpeng Zhao, or CZ, reportedly lives in Singapore, and many of Binance’s employees are spread across the globe.