A late lunch. A glass of wine.
Rehearsing for your choral solo, drawing with your grandson, cycling around the coast of northern Ireland to train for a fundraising ride across the country: Those are just a few of the things that constituted what Contrast Security Vice President of Engineering Damian Horner dubbed an “unusually relaxing” weekend as the company gave all global employees a day off to rev their batteries in whatever way they chose.
“It’s great to have a little extra time off without having to worry about meetings or calls so we can come back ready to take on the work day when we return,” said Contraster Steve Smith, professional services solution architect.
The three-day holiday weekend — celebrated on June 24 or July 25 by Contrasters, depending on country holiday schedules — may well have been “unusually relaxing,” but it’s not unusual within Contrast’s employee-valuing culture, where work-life balance is paramount. True to that culture, Contrast has honored its employees in the form of “Namasdays” — holidays intended to give time and space for general wellness, to prevent burnout, and to reset and recharge.
On Namasday holidays — a term coined from “Namaste,” the Sanskrit greeting that recognizes the divine light we see in each other — Contrast goes above and beyond the regular calendar holidays to give all global employees an extra day off every quarter.
For the rest of FY23, Contrast has scheduled one quarterly Namasday, in addition to regular holidays and the company’s year-end Holiday Shutdown from Dec. 26-30.
Namasdays are only one of many programs that Contrast has developed to foster a thriving company culture. For example, in addition to Namasdays, Contrast is also introducing a new program: Contrast Days of Service (CDOS). CDOS provide an opportunity for Contrasters to take up to two separate days off in FY23 to serve their community.
Contrast believes that a thriving company culture not only attracts top talent but tends to keep that talent for the long term because employees feel engaged with their career. This results in lower turnover and fosters better chemistry among team members, since there are fewer new hires.
But don’t take it from me. Take it from the Contrasters who relished their chance to stop burnout. To recharge. To go to a dark theater to watch space ranger Buzz Lightyear embark on an intergalactic adventure.
Contrast tips its glass of Oregon sauvignon blanc to all the Contrasters who got to spend precious time with their loved ones or off on adventures, in the myriad ways that make us all unique, valued humans who are essential to our families, our communities and our company. Namaste, Contrasters: To infinity and beyond!
How Contrasters spent their Namasdays
“Namasday makes Contrast a great place to work - a company-wide break once a quarter allows us to recharge, spend time with the family, and enjoy the day off! This Namasday I had a chance to cook a fresh, hearty, healthy lunch for my loved ones (air-fried chicken wings & protein pasta stir-fry) & enjoy a long one-hour meal and laugh together! What a wonderful Friday, thank you Contrast!”
—Julia Kolesnyk, Program Manager
“I spent my Namasday resting and preparing for two performances on Saturday with the Houston Tidelanders. That’s me in front of the stage in the purple shirt doing a brief solo during ‘Be Our Guest.’ We had about 248 people show up in total. It’s great to have a little extra time off without having to worry about meetings or calls so we can come back ready to take on the work day when we return.”
—Steve Smith, Professional Services Solution Architect
“I enjoyed our Namasday with a late lunch and a glass of wine with my wife. Thanks Contrast. The extra day off made for an unusually relaxing weekend.”
—Damian Horner, VP of Engineering
“I spent the day cycling across the beautiful North Coast of Ireland. One last big training run before I do a charity cycle across Ireland (which Contrast is Sponsoring). For me, Namasdays are a brilliant way to unwind and get out to enjoy nature.”
—Conor Mullan, Talent Acquisition Partner
“On my Namasday, I went to see a matinee of ‘Elvis’ after enjoying an evening out in DC with old friends. The next day, I played chess with my godson, who was visiting town. My godson and I did some drawing together.”
—Charles E. Chapin, Sr. Customer Success Manager