May 23, 2024

Educopia is taking a Summer Break from July 29 to August 02

Prioritizing collective rest and regeneration, Educopia is taking a summer break from 29 July to 02 August

Fulfilling our strategic commitment to sustainable labor conditions and in support of our unlimited PTO policy, Educopia is taking July 29 to August 02 off, to give the team an opportunity to truly rest. We’re writing to let you know that this means that everyone is out of the office at the same time, and won’t be available to answer emails or calls during that week. We’re also hitting pause on work-related communications within the team—no emails, slack updates, or carrier pigeons will be sent to each other. We look forward to returning to your inboxes, Google docs and DMs the week of August 05, rested and ready to jump back into deep, thoughtful collaboration. Until then, we wish you a happy summer, and a restful break in your future!

In April 2024, Educopia implemented its unlimited PTO policy after a 90-day pilot. Moving away from traditional vacation, sick, bereavement, comp-time policy, we decided that the team can request time off as they see fit. No vacation days accrue, no time off expires, and we don’t see any mention of vacation time on our pay stubs. Our unlimited PTO policy is one tactic supporting our larger organizational strategy to create sustainable labor conditions where employees are empowered to implement a work/life balance that meets their needs. 

Our policy recognizes that no two employee needs, concerns, and priorities are alike. For example, it’s nearly impossible to account for a range of truly inclusive religious and cultural observances. It was also an opportunity to attend to Educopia’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts by recognizing how systemic inequities along the lines of race, gender, class and perceived ability affect diverse employees who—already more likely to have experienced discrimination at the workplace—are even less likely to ask for time off.

“After researching the pros and cons, we feel that transitioning to an unlimited PTO policy aligns with our core values of trust and responsibility. This change, developed collaboratively with our team, empowers employees to manage their own time, promotes a healthier work-life balance, and reduces burnout. Additionally, it boosts morale, enhances productivity, and makes us more attractive to top talent who value progressive and flexible benefits. Prioritizing the well-being of our team is at the heart of this collaborative shift, as it fosters a positive and motivated work environment”, says Racquel Asante (Co-Executive Director, Finance & People Operations).

We also implemented this policy with the full awareness of statistics that report that unlimited time off gets used even less than the traditional methods. To ensure that all of our Staff are getting the benefit of this policy, our employees are asked to take a minimum of 36 days off each year, in addition to Educopia’s thirteen paid holidays. We still felt outlining a minimum amount of time off wasn’t enough. 

We wanted to do more for our team, both because it embraces two key parts of our company culture—trust in each other and a great work-life balance, but also because we are well aware of  what happens if we do not take a healthy amount of time off—burnout, dissatisfaction, and a resultant loss that goes beyond economics to impact the culture of the organization. We saw this as an opportunity to address an urgent cultural issue when it comes to how employees access real time off.

“There is a culture of overworking in the U.S. that impacts all of us, and that makes it difficult to take real time off if workplace rhythms continue as usual. We wanted to carve out some times during the year when the whole team could rest without that implied pressure, and without returning to the stress of inundated inboxes. In fact, planned closures create pressure in the opposite direction, by outlining explicit structures and clear expectations that allow us to actually unplug from work during time off,” says Melanie Schlosser (Senior Community Facilitator). 

We also stood on the shoulders of folks who have done the work before us–including Change Elemental, The Nap Ministry, New Profit, Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI), CHANI, and North Star Fund—gaining insights, inspiration and ideas from the ways in which they prioritized rest and rejuvenation in their ways of working.

Naming the importance of taking a pause in order to recharge and move forward with renewed energy, we’re piloting and instituting annual closures at key points throughout 2024 during which time Educopia will be locking its virtual doors to ensure that the entire team has enough time to rest. Our first pilot closure will be the week of July 29 to August 2nd. In advance of this closure, we will work directly with our communities, clients, and project partners to answer questions, plan for contingencies, and make any necessary scheduling changes. Once we’re back in the office, we will evaluate our pilot week, adjust our model as needed, and schedule additional closures. We are hoping to get into a regular cadence that allows us to schedule closures well in advance, allowing us and our collaborators to plan around them. 

Through this initiative, we hope to create space and imagination for similar movements towards rest and regeneration amongst our peers and partners. We would love to discuss our experience, insights, and questions with you (drop us an email at, as we move towards a culture of collective trust and rest together.