In 2012, Bart Lorang, cofounder and CEO of the Denver-based tech company FullContact introduced "paid paid vacation."
In addition to the standard 15 days paid vacation plus federal holidays, the company would give employees $7,500 to finance a trip. That's $7,500, on top of their full salaries.
There were just three rules:
There are a multitude of studies that verify the fact that regular vacations decreases stress and increases overall job satisfaction and career growth for employees.
Project: Time Off's study found that employees who take all of their vacation time increase their chances of getting promoted and getting a raise by 6.5 percent, compared with people who leave 11 or more days of paid vacation unused. Each year, Americans fail to use 429 million vacation days, and with those days, $160 billion in economic opportunity is lost.
Beyond simply helping you recharge and feel less stressed, studies suggest that taking a vacation is also key for your overall health and wellness. It's also been noted via study that men who don’t take vacations are more likely to suffer from heart disease, while women who don’t take time off are more likely to suffer from depression.
So commit to working with employees in order to organize their yearly vacation time in such a way that they will be able to recharge and reconnect with family and loved ones. Encourage them to try something new. What helps the mind recover is being able to do things that allow it to focus attention somewhere else, somewhere fun. Taking in the sights of a city you’ve never been to or giving scuba diving a try, for example, diverts you from the source of stress. Also stress the fact that they need to
sign off. Do not check emails or take calls. Better yet, unplug completely from Social Media and all forms of electronic devices.
The results achieved with a little consistent time off is well worth the upfront efforts to schedule it.
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We all know that time together as a family is important, and taking the opportunity to unwind together can connect us in ways that would otherwise not be possible as we make our way through the hustle and bustle of daily life.
But if we don't plan, schedule and act, we can miss out on some of life's greatest joys. Here are four reasons why taking a family vacation is important and great for your overall wellbeing and quality of life.
They provide a chance to unwind as a family. Day to day life can be stressful. You are probably juggling a few or all of the following; work, school, household chores, community commitments, kids events, pets, money, planning along with many additional responsibilities. This can lead to burn out and unwanted or unnecessary friction in a family. Taking a vacation, even if for just a few days, can give everyone a chance to relax and escape from those responsibilities. Think of it as pressing a reset button of sorts.
They provide an opportunity to experience new things together. Ditch the boxes, aka...televisions, iPads, laptops and cell phones. Perhaps even take a break from Social Media entirely (Gasp!).
You can now achieve things as a family that you'd only dreamed of. Things like riding a horse through the high plains of Wyoming, hiking the Appalachian Trail, attending a sporting event of a favorite team in a different city, taking a volunteer vacation based upon a mutually shared interest etc. When families vacation together, these experiences become backbones of family stories and can be shares over and over again as the years go by.
Play is not just for kids. Taking time to play has powerful benefits for children as well as adults. Play involves anticipation, using your imagination, surprise and just letting yourself go. Adults who play can gain valuable insights when the whimsical nature of play time is fully under way. It can be liberating for adults and a great way to connect with kids. There is something about being in a vacation setting which prompts the playful side of all of us. Make time to play while you are away.
Relationships are enriched. Vacations make memories which are part of the glue that binds us. A get away of just a couple days can make a big impact on rekindling a flame, repairing misunderstandings or seeing a relationship in an entirely new light...adult to adult, child to child and adult to child. A vacation can provide an opportunity to talk with one another, learn new skills or discover new interests....together.
All of this results in creating family bonding time, an opportunity to press the reset button and decrease your stress levels, the ability to teach kids about the importance of planning and saving for those things that are important to you and enhancing the love you share together as a family.
So if you haven't had one recently, schedule your next family vacation today! We'll even help you out with an opportunity to get up to $250 in Wellness Dollars towards your next get away. Click here for everything you need to know.
Whether you are beginning a new relationship, career move, relocation or decision to make a major life change; the time just before you decide and take a step in that uncharted direction can be the scariest.
Making the decision to trust, commit and move forward into the unknown can be terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.
There is power in decision! Even if you are not sure how you will accomplish your ultimate goals, you have made a statement that you are committed, and although you may face challenge ahead, you are willing to do what it takes to move forward and see things through.
It takes a strong person to try again after having been hurt or dealt with a previous failure...but let's face it...we have all had our challenges in life; it's all about how we interpret those challenges and move forward, which in turn, determines our ultimate level of satisfaction over the years.
Three keys to moving past scary and into results are...
Decide - There is power in deciding! Declare that it ends or begins here and that you are "all in" no matter what or how long it takes. Write down "why" the final outcome is important to you. Think of as many reasons as possible, document them and keep it in a safe place (note on your phone or piece of paper in your night stand works great) because you will want to refer to this document when things get rough and you feel like giving up. Don't.
Take Action - What do you need to do? Take a course? Make your move? Ask an expert for advice? Find someone who has done what you are trying to accomplish and find out how they did it? Collect information (as quickly as possible and on an ongoing basis) then take consistent action.
Let Go Of The Outcome - You won't see results instantaneously and that's okay. Rather than wringing your hands about how and when things will play out --- let it go! Don't require the outcome to unfold only as you see fit. Your journey may (and probably will) take you on twists and turns which may test and challenge you and if you do not remain flexible and patient, you may miss the doors opening and opportunities that present themselves when you are open.
Keep Moving Forward - When things get tough (not if, but when) refer to your "whys" that you wrote down when making the decision to walk this path in the first place. Even on days when you are not playing full out, be sure to just give at least a little bit of effort towards your goals. Baby steps rather than big chunks will get you the results you are looking for.
Bottom line...embrace the scary.
Decide, Take Action, Let Go & Keep Moving Forward!
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