$191 billion tech giant Cisco is giving its 75,000 employees the day off on Friday to recharge

Cisco Chief People Officer Francine KatsoudasCisco
  • Cisco told its 75,000 employees to take Friday, May 22 off in order to recharge after weeks of working remotely amid the COVID-19 crisis.
  • "There are so many reasons not to take a day off," Chief People Officer Fran Katsoudas said in a Tuesday email, a copy of which was viewed by Business Insider. "There are few places to go, people need us…Yet there is one reason to unplug: ourselves."
  • Like other major companies, Cisco's workforce have struggled with many challenges of remote work in the pandemic, led by the demands of caring for their families.
  • "We have a subset of our employees who are home alone and just feeling isolated," Katsoudas told Business Insider.

Cisco has told its employees they can take Friday, May 22, off, giving them a four-day Memorial Day weekend.

In a Tuesday email to the tech giant's 75,000 employees, Chief People Officer Fran Katsoudas said the day off was meant to help the recharge after weeks of working remotely amid the COVID-19 crisis.

"It might feel like there are so many reasons not to take a day off," Katsoudas said in the email, a copy of which was viewed by Business Insider. "There are few places to go, people need us, and we enjoy our work. Our weeks and weekends are blurring together. Yet there is one reason to unplug: ourselves."Advertisement

Employees who have commitments to customers or have critical assignments on that day will be allowed to take another day off, Katsoudas said.

Cisco, a leading maker of enterprise networking gear, saw an uptick in demand for its products in the crisis after businesses scrambled to make sure their employees have adequate equipment to work remotely.

But as in other major corporations, Cisco employees have also faced challenges while working from home. Katsoudas said some employees have had to adjust to their children suddenly having to learn remotely, while others also have had to take care of elderly parents.
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"We have a subset of our employees who are home alone and just feeling isolated," she told Business Insider.

Another tech giant, Google, has also asked employees to take Friday off to address work-from-home burnout issues. Got a tip about Cisco or another tech company? Contact this reporter via email at bpimentel@businessinsider.com, message him on Twitter @benpimentel or send him a secure message through Signal at (510) 731-8429. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.Advertisement

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