Vacation time isn’t entirely relaxing anymore. A modern employee taking time off from work may still find themselves inundated with emails, calls from their boss or even quick-task requests.
Connectivity and technology are the culprits behind this “always on” culture. It can be damaging. If employees never get the chance to truly disconnect and recharge, they’re going to burn out.
Like summer vacation
Wanting to solve this issue, Ariela Safira, CEO and founder of mental health platform Real, figured out a way for her employees to truly rest.
Every quarter, her company shuts down for one week, giving everyone a mandatory vacation.
With everyone out at the same time – and with no work happening that they’re missing out on – Safira realized her employees could truly disconnect and enjoy their time off.
When employees go on vacations now, there’s a hesitancy to come back to work and discuss their time off, since their colleagues have been hard at work the entire time.
Company-wide vacation eliminates that problem. Safira relates it to the feeling of a kid on summer vacation – all your peers are relaxing and having fun at the same time, and you share a bond with them because of that. Employees come back from their shared time off excited to swap vacation stories.
Rested and ready
For Safira, the logistics of shutting down for a week weren’t too difficult to figure out – just planning ahead of time, and communication with clients about being out of office.
The impact on Safira’s employees has been well worth it.
Since company-wide vacations have gone into effect, employees have felt less guilty about not working. While out of the office, they thought about work less than before, and came back feeling much more rested.
With the pandemic having made remote work the norm, separation between work and home is more blurred than ever. Something as drastic as a company-wide vacation can be necessary to force people to take a rest, and come back ready to do their best work.
Safira says stress relief apps and mental health days aren’t cutting it anymore, and it’s essential to listen to what your people really need.