There’s no way around it: You definitely spend more time with your colleagues than you do with any other community in your life. Considering the average worker logs in 40+ hours a week, it’s no surprise so many friendships are formed between cubicles and over super-long client briefs. But what if in addition to sharing your space, mind, and lunch with your coworkers, you also went on vacation with them?
As work becomes continuously redefined and more and more professionals prioritize experiences and adventures, some companies are using the benefits of travel to reward and inspire their employees. In addition to endless vacation policies, the ability to work remotely or structure your own hours, some businesses are aiming to give their hard-workers the opportunity to see the world — on the company dime.
These three companies use corporate-wide vacations — from Aruba and Miami to upstate New York and beyond — to bring together teams, raise morale and brainstorm areas for growth. Here, they share why it’s an effective practice (that, um, you should totally pitch to your boss!):
“It helps boost morale — and connect teams.”
The owner and managing partner of In Good Company Hospitality Terence Tubridy came up with the idea of not only getting out of the office but out of town during a time when his team really needed it. After working tirelessly to bring the iconic Employees Only to Miami, he decided to treat everyone to a few days at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
But once the getaway commenced and he witnessed first-hand how great of an impact it had on the morale of his employees. Not only did it provide a different way of experiencing everyone’s personalities outside of their work, but it gave them a space to celebrate and bond.
“I think it made us a stronger team and company moving forward. It is amazing what can happen when you take the finance team and the reservations team and give them some sunshine and rosé,” he shared.
This summer, they have a few summer field trips to the Rockaways and they’re planning more overnights in the future. He would recommend traveling to any company that aims to build cross-functional teams, connect staff, and recharge creativity.
“Vacationing should be part of the work experience.”
Especially considering her company — Diamond Public Relations — specializes in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, it makes sense that founder Jody Diamond would make getaways part of the company culture.
“We ‘sell’ the travel experience to media and the consumer alike, and I believe our team should have as many travel experiences as they can fit into their lives, be it personal or as a part of their professional lives,” she explains.
Though many of her team members will travel with media to Mexico, Italy, Peru, Palm Beach and other destinations, they have few opportunities to take a trip together. That’s why in the duration of her 11-year-old company, she’s prioritized taking her team near and far. So far, they’ve ventured to Cancun, Vegas (complete with a Britney Spears concert and most recently, Aruba to celebrate their 10-year anniversary.
“Our entire crew of 30 descended on this Caribbean paradise for a long weekend of catamaran sails, private dinners, including a very special one the actual night of our business anniversary, beach time and UTVs,” she shares.
Though she’s still on the fence for this year, she’s been toying with an executive retreat to Italy, among other ideas. Depending on your cash flow and how much you’re able to allocate to this personal expense, Diamond says it is worth the investment.
“It broadens your team’s knowledge of the world, their experiences and their bond with each other, which I believe can be beneficial if you have the right team members who can appreciate this company perk, value it and understand very few companies do this,” she says.
“Life experiences should never be delayed.”
Charles Teague, the CEO of Lose IT!, a weight loss and wellness company, didn’t want his employees to delay life experiences because they were too busy working. Considering so much can be missed out on if you’re continuously grinding away without leaving the office or your desk, Teague decided to host an international retreat to give his employees the opportunity to cross items off their bucket list, on the company dime.
Their first getaway was to Loon Mountain in New Hampshire, and later this year in July, they’re encouraging and paying for not only employees but their families to visit Paris.
“We think that providing a trip like this to employees and their families will help create diversity and creativity in how our employees work, deepen relationships between employees and encourage additional independence and autonomy in our work environment,” he shared.
In addition to the mental recharge these vacations provide, Teague says it also proves to be an effective measure of stimulating growth, imagination and team spirit.
“When the whole company is brought to a new location, we find that ideas are shared and relationships are built in different ways than what happens in the comfort zone of our office. I expect this to be the case on our international trip and hope we can continue this program each year in a new city,” he adds.