There’s no shortage of companies that take work seriously, but Dream11 seems to take its vacations seriously too.
Gaming platform Dream11 has instituted a policy in which it will fine employees Rs. 1 lakh if they disturb their colleagues when they’re on vacation. As per the Dream11 “Unplug” policy, employees can take a week off from work-related emails, messages, calls, and even their colleagues. If any employee reaches out to another employee during the “Unplug” period, they will will have to pay a fine of Rs 1 Lakh.
“At Dream11, we actually log off the ‘Dreamster’ who is unplugged, off from every possible Stadium communication platform, be it Slack, emails and even WhatsApp groups,” Dream11 said in a Linkedin post. “We do this to ensure absolutely no one from the Dreamster’s work ecosystem can contact them while they are on their well-deserved break,” it added. Unplug time is available to everyone regardless of their designation, date of joining, or other factors.
“Allowing employees to cut off from all company systems and groups is one of the best perks one can get,” a Dream11 employee said. “We are not bothered with work calls, emails, messages, or even WhatsApp for seven days. This helps us spend some quality time doing what we love. And for me, it’s time to head to the mountains. I, for one, do not feel guilty about not having a sufficient network. It’s the most distinctive form of unplugging. This disconnected time also helps one rejuvenate, relax and come back feeling fresh, happy, and renewed energy to give one’s best performance,” they added.
Having this “unplug” time could end up being a serious perk — employees often have to keep checking their phones even when they’re on vacation, and find it hard to unwind from work completely. But Dream11, which has now been profitable for some time, has sent out a message about demarcating work and play with an official Unplug policy. There are some precedents though — France, for instance, has passed a law that makes it illegal for companies to send emails to employees outside working hours. It remains to be seen if other startups end up offering similar policies, but Dream11 appears to have certainly raised the bar on what quality vacation time can mean at work.