So I came across this article about “Heartache Leave”.  Hime, a marketing firm in Japan, has instituted paid time off for employees for when they go through breakups.  In your 20s you get one day off, in your 30s two days, and 3 days after that–the rationale being that going through a breakup is like being sick and as you get older (and relationships inevitably get more serious), it becomes more difficult to cope with a bad breakup.

As someone who has taken days off work for a breakup I can understand and sympathize with the policy.  In fact, while I don’t plan on instituting a similar policy at my office, I prefer a bunch of PTO (paid time off) days than some sick days and vacation days.  There are lots of reasons people need time off, and mental health sometimes it just as good a reason and physical health.  Since if mentally you can’t focus or concentrate on your work, it is probably better to stay home and address what is ailing you anyway.   I know that when I feel like lying on the couch with a pint (or two) of Ben and Jerrys, I am not going to be much use in the office. I would rather people who work for me be honest about what is affecting their job performance (or attendance) than to lie about it; I want to create an open and honest working environment.  I think that Hime does a good job of that–they even give the ladies half days off for sales–since the alternative was to hide their shopping bags and take time off anyway.  These sort of policies show employees that as a company you value openness and are willing to look at people as people–not just cogs in a wheel.

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