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Sorbet Launches Employee Wellness Platform to Encourage Professionals to Use Their Paid Time Off

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

Sorbet applies AI and behavioral science to craft customized Time Off Plans for employees to enjoy frequent micro-breaks throughout their calendar year.

Employee Wellness Platform

We’re excited to announce the launch of Sorbet, an employee wellness platform that encourages and incentivizes professionals to take meaningful time off. We are dedicated to the concept that professionals, on both the employer and employee level, need to make a major shift in terms of how they prioritize mental health.

It starts with breaking the culture of “overwork”. We believe that company leadership needs to take responsibility for promoting a healthy work / life balance. The result is powerful and can create ripples of positivity for both the employer and the employee, including increased retention, reduced attrition, improved job performance, and improved mental clarity, motivation, and productivity. Plus, employers can reduce unused Paid Time Off and carryover liabilities.

Workers’ reluctance to take time off has been an issue for years. According to research from the U.S. Travel Association, Oxford Economics and Ipsos, in 2018, 55% of employees didn’t use all of their time off, leading to 768 Million unused days nationwide. Why?

  • Perception: People have a fear of being replaceable and don’t want to appear less dedicated.

  • Workload: People have ‘too much’ on their plates, and are fearful to return to a mountain of work.

  • Logistics: It’s challenging to take time off when you have to consider children, pets, planning, costs, security, and safety.

  • Habit: People prefer to stick with a regular routine.

COVID-19 has deepened this cultural hesitance, making employee burnout a heightened risk. Even though we face travel restrictions right now, it’s critical for employers to encourage their teams to take breaks from work. Sorbet allows Paid Time Off programs to return to their original purpose – empowering employees to take meaningful time off to de-stress, recharge, and focus on their wellbeing.

In times of upheaval and uncertainty, it’s no wonder that people are feeling the effects of increased stress. But research shows that a simple antidote to stress is taking time off.

Every 40 hours of free time extended an employee’s stay at their company by eight months.

After months of research and the startling data coming out in response to workers’ burnout due to COVID-19, it’s clear that unused Paid Time Off is a major concern for both employers and employees. This has obvious wellness implications but also financial ones, with PTO accumulating as an administrative headache and bureaucratic payroll item for employers.

There’s never been a better, or more critical, time to rethink the concept of Paid Time Off and how employers can empower their employees to take advantage of this benefit. This is a wonderful opportunity to reimagine both the mindset and cultural norms we work with and the resources we rely on to refresh and recharge.

The Sorbet Methodology

Sorbet applies AI and behavioral science to craft customized Time Off Plans for employees to enjoy frequent micro-breaks throughout their calendar year. Any break from work, even if it’s just for 3 hours, has its benefits. The right mix of engagement and distinctiveness, coupled with the sense of freedom, creativity, and novelty, stimulate the reward centers in our brain and release dopamine, our “feel good” neurotransmitters, which lead to reduced stress levels and higher satisfaction along with improved learning capabilities, better memory and concentration. Research shows that taking time off, even if it’s just a few hours here and there, is an important way to prevent workplace burnout.

Yes, traditional multi-day vacations have its perks, but the positive effects are short-lived, and only last a few days. We believe that enjoying frequent micro-breaks is the future of employee wellness. Taking more frequent micro-breaks is just as effective, if not more effective, than traditional multi-day vacations, as those frequent micro-breaks are essential for maintaining a consistent positive state of mind.

Sorbet™️ recreates all of the positive effects of a vacation into smaller micro-breaks, sprinkled throughout an employee’s calendar year. The Sorbet AI generated wellness optimizer identifies time management patterns, syncs with calendars, and analyzes behavior to produce customized Time Off Plans for employees. Sorbet breaks down an employee’s Paid Time Off balance into three-hour increments (aka “scoops”). This way, employees can enjoy frequent micro-breaks and not feel the pressure of taking a full day off if they don’t want to.

  • 1 scoop = 3 hours off

  • 2 scoops = 6 hours off

  • 3 scoops = 9 hours (a full day off)

Sorbet gives employees creative suggestions, aka “Sorbet Flavors” on how to use Paid Time Off in a way that feels fun and refreshing (even in the state of a pandemic). These “Flavors” include an assortment of activities and "staycation" experiences that truly mimic the relaxing, inspiring, and fulfilling feelings you gain from taking a real vacation.

With Sorbet, employees can:

  • Set a wellness goal: Sorbet users can decide how much of their Paid Time Off balance they’d like Sorbet to optimize for them. For example, a user can have 10 unused PTO days. They can decide they want Sorbet to optimize 50% of their PTO balance (5 days).

  • Customize preferences: Our onboarding process allows the user to tell us how they like to spend their time, when they’re most productive, and what their goals are. This way, we can curate a Time Off Plan based on an individual’s personal preferences, productivity habits, and lifestyle.

  • Access an optimal Time Off Plan: Sorbet converts a user’s PTO balance into micro-breaks, aka “scoops”, sprinkled across their schedule. All “scoops” of time off are automatically pre-approved, meaning employees don’t need to get approval from their Managers to take this time off.

  • Explore curated experiences: Users get exclusive access to a variety of experiences, customized to their preferences, schedule and goals. Whether it’s a virtual film festival, or a trip to the farmer’s market, all experiences are designed to spark creativity, reduce stress, and improve productivity.

We hope our solution offers a fun and refreshing way for people to prioritize mental health and actually use Their Paid Time Off. Don’t let your Paid Time Off melt away!

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