Summer, summer, summertime!
Summer is usually all about sunshine, swimming and BBQs. For many adults, it also means personal time off of work.
The benefits of personal time off are well documented. However, getting out of the office can be tricky business. In our hyper-connected world, it’s nearly impossible to unplug. Even when people do, the fear of missing out on a big opportunity or the dread of returning to an overflowing inbox can be enough to keep people in their offices and out of the sun.
According to Project Time Off’s State of American Vacation 2018 report, the tide is beginning to turn for the better. “Employers are showing signs of having more encouraging vacation cultures, and employees are feeling more confident about using the time they earn.”
As proponents of a positive employee experience, we encourage companies to support vacation! Here are some clever ways companies are helping their people get out and recharge:
- Summer Fridays: Set your people free! Have you noticed nothing happens on Friday afternoons in the summer? It’s because companies with flexible work hours are out enjoying themselves. If you send an email and no one responds, did it really happen? Consider a flexible schedule in the summer and you’ll reap the rewards of a more focused and engaged workforce Monday through Thursday.
- Using Technology to Unplug: Is a vacation with anxiety about returning to work really a vacation? Thriving mogul Arianna Huffington created a vacation email tool specifically to address the problem of email overload after time off. Expanding on the traditional out-of-office email, her tool takes the next step to delete all emails received during that time, asking senders to email a second time if important.
- “Forced” Time Off: Although not technically vacation, many companies encourage time out of the office for volunteering, company-sponsored activities or company-wide weekly closures, all of which allow people time to relax and refresh. Data also shows these perks lead to a stronger company culture and employee commitment overall.
Telling your people to use their PTO is not enough. You can help them take care of themselves and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!