Atlassian is giving employees five days of paid time off and organising face-to-face meet-ups over pizza and beer to match charities with employee volunteers.
Every four months for the past two years, the tech company has hosted so-called “charity mixers” where a dozen charities pitch their problems to a group of Atlassian employees, who in turn volunteer their tech skills such as building a website or a log-on function.
But skill-based volunteering – where employees use their specific skills to solve charities’ problems – could soak up a lot of companies’ time in coordination alone, in contrast to traditional volunteering based on manual work, says Chris Jarvis of Realized Worth, a US-based employee volunteering consultant who has advised companies such as Microsoft and Deloitte.
“The difficulty with skill-based volunteering is it takes a lot of work on the part of the employer. For every four hours an employee invests in skill-based volunteering, an employer will have to pay another staff for an hour’s work in organising skill-based volunteering,” he said.