Time off from work is a very tricky thing. You get probably a week around Christmas until the New Year, a few days for Thanksgiving, maybe a day or two around Easter, your government-mandated 10 days, and that’s about it. Some companies, like TED, actually close for two weeks at the end of the summer, because they know that productivity is at an all-time low at the end of August, and it’s a great way to have your employees recharge.
TED, the NYC nonprofit company behind the now-famous TED Talks, has been doing its two-week summer shutdown since 2009, because they know how hard it is to plan a vacation around a busy schedule and a constantly updating/refreshing media company:
“We all know how hard it is to plan a vacation. Most of us would feel too guilty to even take two weeks off, if it weren’t pre-planned for us. And we’d be likely to cancel when something inevitably came up. This creates an enforced rest period, which is so important for both productivity and happiness,” according to June Cohen, executive producer of TED Media.
Most companies make sure their employees take staggered vacations in the summer, so there’s always someone running the show, but that means there’s such a stilted productivity as well. The people you need to talk to are never on the same schedule, people have differing energy/involvement levels, etc.
“We’re all on the same schedule. We all return feeling rested and invigorated. What’s good for the team is good for business,” Cohen writes.
By the way, they also get an extra week of vacation they can take whenever they want, so if you were jealous before, I hope you’ve kicked into a furious rage of envy.
As someone who works for a company with forced vacation time, I have to attest that it is a wonderful thing to be able to go away and do whatever you want, and not have to worry that some kind of earth-shattering crisis will occur. Of course, one always manages to occur and mess things up, but hey, shit happens.
[via Fast Company]