Nearly nine out of 10 people just back from their summer holiday would relish the prospect of taking a career break lasting at least five months, research has revealed.
The survey of more than 160 full-time employees, by business rescue firm Begbies Traynor, found that employers offering career breaks were more likely to keep their staff.
Two-thirds of workers said they would be more loyal and would resist the temptation to move jobs if sabbaticals were part of company policy.
With retirement ages being extended, a large majority (85%) felt that most organisations will be forced to offer career breaks.
Recent findings by one of the big four accountancy firms revealed that out of all its trained graduates that were leaving, 40% were doing so to have a career break.
Extended travel was the most popular reason for more than half of the respondents who have taken a career break. Simply 'recharging batteries' and the opportunity to refocus on one's career were the other desirable benefits for spending time away from work.
Employees appear to see few downsides of taking a sabbatical. Two-thirds had no worries about feeling de-motivated or playing 'catch-up' after a long work absence. Fewer than one in 10 of those surveyed worried about colleagues usurping their position in the organisation.
Mark Fry, south-east managing partner of Begbies Traynor, said: "With more and more people taking a breather in their careers, it is vital for businesses to develop coping mechanisms to counter the loss of staff.
"From our survey, it's evident that this sort of arrangement might stop valuable staff members from leaving the organisations and would generate a lot of valuable employee loyalty."