Encourage your employees to take time off – and to travel



Are you also convinced that self-development is only possible if you take a training or find a coach? Wrong! To give yourself real opportunities for growth, you need something completely different and unexpected: vacation time. And by preference: leave your familiar surroundings. Stretching the comfort zone, you know.

Uncharted territory

As a manager, do you have the best interest at heart for the people on your team? Then give them the best gift of all: a chance to leave their familiar environment. Many employees yearn for it, but many others have a lot of inhibiting beliefs (and factual limitations) that stop them from going on vacation: not enough vacation days, too much work, no funds,… Instead of exploring the world, they stay where they are and work even harder. With obvious increased risks of (mental) problems…

 Nothing but benefits

At Tryangle, we already known what a joy it can be to expand your horizons. Your batteries get to recharge, you can give your self-development a real boost and when you return to your familiar home and workplace, there’s lots of positive energy and bubbling creativity as a result. Colleagues also benefit from having a team member coming back to work feeling fully recharged. The happiness at work of the entire team actually increases.

It’s a fact that having time off has a significant impact on us. Especially when you can discover new places or soak up other cultures, it changes you. You grow. This kind of growth contributes not only to the person you are, but also to the work you do and the way you do it. Taking time off or an actual vacation is therefore an absolute must. How to go about it?

Let me share some best practices:

 #1 Put a stop to the macho culture that glorifies being busy.

Too often, busyness is seen as a status symbol. Many brag about how they hardly sleep and consider it an actual asset that they work dozens of hours a day. Thanks to Tony Crabbe, many now know better, but not everyone agrees. Do you hear others bragging about overtime? Do something about it. Work on a culture in which boundaries are normal and where taking a break and relaxing is important. One way of doing this is by setting a good example as a manager.

#2 As a manager, travel regularly

“Leading by example” also means that you yourself are willing to stretch beyond your own comfort zone. Travel regularly and talk with your coworkers about what these (small) trips have meant for you or taught you. Think about the new insights you have gained from both professional and personal travels and share them at work.

#3 Invite your employees to send postcards.

Showing someone that you are thinking about them has a strong impact. You could argue that travel is meant to help you disconnect from the workplace. While that is certainly true, sending a text message doesn’t hurt, and neither does sending a postcard. You can for example display these cards on a wall in the common room or have them become the background of the team members’ computers..  This way, conversations are encouraged which contributes to the team spirit in a very positive way. If you have read the blog “The effect stories have on our brain“, then you know how impactful it can be to share stories. Postcards can be a perfect contributor as they invite questions and encourage telling stories.

#4 Encourage “workation” and remote working.

Do your employees really need to be in the office to do their jobs? If not – or at least not all the time – then encourage remote working, and consider a workation (taking a trip and continuing to work online). It can be the icing on the cake as a workation makes the working day lighter, which means that the work can be done with a high level of quality, but the employee also gets a chance to re-energize.

However, be careful not to turn every vacation into a workation, as completely deconnecting – actual time off without any work obligations – is still highly recommended. In order to specifically accommodate those employees who need a change of scenery, but do not get around to do it for certain reasons, suggesting workations possible can be a very good idea.

#5 Offer Give your employees an unexpected gift at the start of their vacations

Want to give your employees a chance to start their time off with an even bigger smile on their faces? Offer them an unexpected gift. This can be anything from a warm message, a box of chocolates or a gift certificate for a smoothie on a sunny terrace – or something completely different. It’s doesn’t really matter what you are offering, as long as it is unexpected and heartfelt.

#6 And last but not least

Is your employee returning to work after a vacation period? Absolutely number one on your agenda: ask about their vacation! What did they experience? What did they enjoy or discover? Any insights? Have a casual conversation based on genuine interest to let stories emerge and encourage the desire to travel to sneak into your team bringing flip-flop vibes and sunny moods.


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