I spent last week up in northern California's Trinity Alps and Lost Coast, and once again, some time outside has left me relaxed, rejuevnated, positive, productive and full of fresh ideas.
Amid reports that Americans are receiving less and less vacation time and working more and more, I have to wonder whether we are actually getting any more done by working so much more or whether we are burning out our work force and just paying people to work more, while they become less and less happy, productive, and innovative.
I say that as long as employees can demonstrate an ability to get their work done and meet their deadlines, give them more vacation time, not less. I'd even give my staff an extra week or two of outdoors-oriented vacation a year, with the understanding that it is meant to inspire fresh ideas and increased productivity once they come back to the office. Less stressed employees mean happier employees, who are more pleasant to be around and foster a far more positive, productive workplace environment.
A few days outside does wonders for the soul in some kind of deep, primal way. It is a kind of relaxation and recharging that, for me at least, is not matched by any other.