Should Information Technology Companies Allow Workers 9 Days AFK?

Should Information Technology Companies Allow Workers 9 Days AFK - Intrust IT

At Intrust IT, we know how powerful stepping away from work can be for our employees’ well-being. We became employee-owned in 2019 to better serve our clients, but that wasn’t enough for us. At the start of 2023, many of our dedicated employees, like those at other information technology companies, expressed concerns about always being caught up in the whirlwind of their daily routines. 

How can we effectively solve this problem?

We created the “Nine Days Away From Keyboard” initiative. We’ve been sharing the results here on the blog. This month’s adventure is set in Argentina and Chile.

But before we give you all the trip highlights, let’s rewind a bit. This new policy requires all our team members to take a minimum of nine consecutive days off from work. During this time, we insist on a complete break from work-related communications like emails, phone calls and direct messages.

It’s all about unplugging and indulging in some well-deserved time off.

Our commitment to employee satisfaction doesn’t stop there. We’ve taken significant steps to augment our paid time off allowances for every one of our employees. 

Why? We genuinely care about their well-being and want to provide them with even more opportunities to prioritize self-care.

At Intrust IT, our goal is to be more than just another managed service provider in a sea of other information technology companies. We are committed to ensuring that our employees are not just content but thriving, maintaining a healthy work-life balance. 

When our team members return from these much-needed breaks, they do so with a newfound energy to better serve our clients and customers.

So, what’s it like to have nine days away from your keyboard? Here’s a firsthand account from Patrick Brewer, an Intrust IT client success associate.

Patrick recently went on an unforgettable adventure to Argentina and Chile to explore a new country with his girlfriend and her Master’s program group, and experience the sights and taste the sensations of the region.

What were some of your vacation highlights?

Patrick Brewer: “My girlfriend went through a master’s program at NKU, and it ended with an international trip, so we went to Argentina and Chile, and I got the opportunity to tag along. I was really grateful for that.

“Argentina was my favorite of the two nations. It had a lot of great European architecture. Unfortunately, the country is having a lot of high inflation issues, which is not good for the country at all, but it’s good for having a good, cheap meal. Here in the United States, you’ll pay $28 for a good bottle of wine. Down there, you’re paying about $10, so we definitely took full advantage of that.

“We had the opportunity to tour the River Plate Football Club, we got to visit a Toyota plant and see how the vehicles are made, that was a lot of fun. We also visited an opera house that had been opened in 1857, and the architecture inside was phenomenal.

“We finished off Argentina with a tango lesson and a tango show in one of the older, more traditional venues. The building itself was built in 1769, so it had a lot of history.

“Being given the opportunity to experience all of that and meet the people that were a part of the program was a lot of fun! Luckily, we had two or three people who spoke really good Spanish, so we had a group of six of us who were the adventurous crew. We tried new things, went to random little restaurants and having the translators with us was definitely really helpful.

“Chile was a lot more modern. We stayed in a hotel building across from the tallest building in South America and saw some great views from the top of that.

“We learned a lot about the history of Chile, the coup that happened back in the ‘70s and we were able to hike the Andes mountains for a day. We visited a winery on our way to Valparaíso and visited another school to talk about innovation and leadership. They also have great street art in Valparaíso.

“Overall it was a great experience. I’d never been to either country, so it was a great opportunity to see something I’ve never seen before.”

Information Technology Companies 9 Days Chile_Art

Did you have any favorite foods while you were there?

“Everything was fresh. We didn’t get into any fast food or any chains. Wherever you go, you know this food was locally sourced and prepared.

“I figured if you’re in Argentina, you’ve got to try their beef. The steak was some of the best I’ve had.

Information Technology Companies 9 Days Chile_Food

Did the 9 Days Away From Keyboard initiative make a difference?

“I think it has. I’ve always been an advocate for work-life balance, and the fact that at Intrust we gave our people the opportunity to take the time away is amazing. I think it has opened up opportunities for a lot of people to get out and step away from work. After all, work is not everything.

“I’ve told people about the Away From Keyboard initiative and everybody that I’ve talked to has been completely jealous of that process because not enough workplaces do it. Giving people the opportunity to get out and spread their wings a little bit puts them more at ease and in a better position to do work for the company.

Information Technology Companies 9 Days Chile_Crew

How do you feel about coming back to work after the break?

“It’s always nerve-wracking to come back after a trip because, you know, your emails have piled up, and the work you do on a daily basis might not have been picked up while you were gone. We plan ahead of time, we make sure we have our bases covered before we leave so that we’re not coming back to something stressful.

“It isn’t something I’ve typically done in the past, and preparing for the trip and return made the transition a lot easier.”

Information Technology Companies 9 Days Buenos Aires_Teatro Colon Lobby

Information Technology Companies Giving You a Break

Here at Intrust IT, we don’t want to be just like other information technology companies. Extended, uninterrupted breaks are needed for both our employees and the overall success of our company. We’re truly excited to witness this new initiative’s positive impact on all of us.

Stay tuned for more updates on the “9 Days Away From Keyboard” initiative. Plus, don’t miss the opportunity to follow along with another one of our team members who described his nine consecutive days off in Canada.

If you’re thinking, “Could I work here?” we invite you to explore the possibility of joining our team of employee-owners, where a nine-day break is a part of your job description. 

Check out our current job openings and picture yourself joining our team!

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