It’s become the norm for Americans to ignore their vacation days and work year round without taking more than a day or two off at a time. But the routine can get boring very quickly. For those in creative positions, it is especially important to go out into the world, experience new things, and get out of the mundanity of a typical work routine. It is this idea that inspired a creative agency in Southern California to offer a $1,500 travel budget to employees.
ThinkPARALLAX launched a new initiative this year, offering everyone in the 12-person team a travel budget with a few specific rules: The money has to be used to visit a destination the employee has never been to before, the destination has to take the employee out of their comfort zone in one way or another, and vacation has to be taken between September and December.
"When you don’t put a timeline behind things, people tend not to do them," Jonathan Hanwit, the company’s co-founder, told Fast Company. "It also forces everybody to realize that they can pick up the slack, and creates a more cohesive work environment."
Employees have been chronicling their travels through a blog on the company website. Anna, a project manager, said her trip to Machu Picchu in Peru "inspired me to get out of my comfort zone, take risks, and look at my surroundings and resources with a new perspective. If the Incas built Machu Picchu on the side of a mountain, there must be a way."
When Hanwitt took a European vacation to Germany and Holland, the things he saw and experienced directly integrated into his work at thinkPARALLAX.
"I saw a barcode in Europe designed into a certain image, not a rectangle. I saw things in signage that we can literally translate into a project we’re working on," he said.
By simply going outside of your comfort zone and taking time off to experience new things, your creativity has the potential to soar.
Would a travel budget such as the one provided by thinkPARALLAX entice you to take more vacations? Tell on Twitter @efficient.