New Delhi, Aug. 19 -- Longer hours, erratic schedules, and more meetings characterize the pandemic workday, and now companies are slowly recognizing that employees need a little more time off. Google and Cisco started the trend in May with a company-wide day-off to help staff deal with work-from-home-related stress, and now corporates and startups in India are following suit.

Last month, ad agency Ogilvy announced a "Do Nothing Monday", one day of paid leave that was not part of the scheduled leave calendar. It was announced two weeks in advance so that employees could inform clients as well as clear their desks and not take any calls.

"It was the first time I've had a day off like that in the six years I've worked here," says Shoaib Al...