Marketing Eye

Why you should give employees more vacation time

Being a business owner has many benefits; you can make sh*t happen, turn up when you feel like it, feel empowered to do anything you set your mind to, fulfil dreams, make millions (if you work hard and are successful) and in general, you have an ability to change lives, that of your own and others. It's a pretty neat gig if I may say so myself.

The negatives, well, there are a few but one of them has never been that I didn't want to get out of bed and turn up to work. Instead, I wake up early and make my way to the office as fast and efficiently as possible. 

What I find challenging is the same things most small to medium-sized business owners find; people management, enough hours in the day to do all the things that you want to do and find the right talent. The latter being the single biggest issue I think most agencies find today. 

Marketing is evolving and it means that marketers have to spend as much time working on client accounts as they do educating themselves on what are the latest in marketing techniques, campaigns that are successful and those that fail and in general the technology driven components that are spearheading a marketing evolution that has brought double degrees in marketing and technology to the forefront.

I often laugh when I hear people say that they are a "marketing guru" because if they are, I really want to know what it is that they know that no-one else around them has figured out. Twitter and LinkedIn is overloaded with self proclaimed experts, gurus, coaches and mentors - yet I wonder how many of them really have a grasp on what they are doing in a way that can not only inspire people around them, but give them 'food for thought' that they would not of otherwise been able to achieve.

Towards the end of July, I spontaneously took 10 days off. I say, spontaneous, because even though I had paid for it, I wasn't quite sure whether I would make the trip right up to the morning I headed off to the airport. Instead, I hedged my bets and my rationale on whether or not it was good timing for the business for me to take annual leave, was a bit all over the place which is very unlike me.

As I set off, I slept a majority of my trip, enjoying the peace and quiet, lack of internet connections and phone communications, and being served. 

My first flight from Atlanta to Milan, was seamless. My next flight in order to get to Split in time for dinner with my family who live there was a little more tramatic, but the minute I got off the plane I slowly felt myself breathe. I inhaled what was to be a 10 day break, mainly without phone or internet.

Taking annual leave is a must at Marketing Eye. My firm belief that people that travel are better marketers is well-known. In December, every employee takes 2 to 3 weeks minimum off, as well as some time during the year. If someone has been with Marketing Eye for more than 18 months, they can take up to 6 months off to travel at any given time, as long as their clients are safely handed over to a competent staff member.

Here are my 3 key reasons why employees should take more vacations:

  1. Vacations are good for your health: It is proven that vacations actually make us healthier, reducing stress and anxiety and allowing us to think more clearly about what we eat and drink.
  2. To think differently: We all get stuck in a rut at some point and when there is a job to do, most of us with any work ethic roll up our sleeves and get it done. If we are busy in our jobs, we often don't have time to think outside the box or to look at things differently. When you are on holidays, there is no pressing deadlines, people vying for your attention or clutter. 
  3. You only live once: When you look at your job and you love what you do, often it encourages you to work harder and as such you are recognized, promoted and all of a sudden you start to feel overwhelmed by what is in front of you. Perhaps, you think for a moment, that this may not be the job for you. Well, think again. It most likely is, but if you don't allow yourself to experience the world, have hobbies or take time out - you possibly may make decisions that are detrimental to your career and life overall. If you have always dreamed of travelling to Italy and seeing the Amalfi coastline - do it. There is no time like the present and everything else can and will wait. 

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