Why IT Companies Should Allow 9 Days Away From Keyboard

IT Companies 9 Days Away From Keyboard in Spain

At Intrust IT, we understand how powerful recharging and rejuvenating are to our employees’ well-being. At the beginning of 2023, it was clear that many of our dedicated employees, like those at other IT companies, were always caught up in the whirlwind of their daily routines. 

So, how could we fix this problem?

Enter our solution: the “Nine Days Away From Keyboard” initiative. We’ve been sharing the results here on the blog. This month’s adventure is set in Spain.

But before we spill all the details, let’s rewind a bit. We’ve implemented a new policy that requires all our team members to take a minimum of nine consecutive days off from work. During this period, we insist on a complete hiatus from work-related emails, voicemails, chats or any communication channels associated with work. 

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

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


Because 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 IT companies. We are devoted to ensuring that our employees are not just content but thriving, maintaining a healthy work-life balance. 

We’ve witnessed firsthand that when our team members return from these rejuvenating breaks, they do so with a newfound vigor to better serve our clients and customers.

So, what’s it like to have nine days away from your keyboard, all to yourself? Here’s a firsthand account from Tim Rettig, Intrust IT’s founder and CEO. 

Tim recently embarked on an unforgettable adventure to the northern region of Spain to explore employee-owned companies and experience the sights and sounds of a less-traveled locale.

What were some of your vacation highlights?

Tim Rettig: “My wife and I went to northern Spain, which is the Basque region, and visited the Mondragon Corporation. The group I went with was a delegation from Cincinnati. Members ranged from council members to the aide for a Congressman to an attorney and entrepreneurs like myself.

“We flew into Bilbao, which is really close to France. It’s actually where the Tour de France starts. We took a bus to San Sebastion and we also went to Mondragon.

“We visited one of the Guggenheim Museums in Bilbao. The building itself is a piece of art with more art exhibited inside. Mondragon is more of an  industrial area, not very touristy because there’s a lot of businesses run by the Mondragon Corporation there.”

Guggenheim Museums

Intrust IT is employee-owned. How does that relate to your trip?  

“We had two and a half days of activities visiting a whole bunch of different companies. They employ over 70,000 people across 257 companies. It’s a really cool organization that over the past 67 years has created all these different companies and all of the employees own the companies.

“There are CEOs, but they’re elected by the employees within the company. As an employee, you get additional profits that are shared with you when the organization does well, and you have ownership in the company that appreciates over time, so when you retire, you sell that back into the co-op.

IT Companies: Otalora

“There’s a lot of pride in being involved with this cooperative and helping their countrymen and their community improve.

“In the final presentation, the bank held a private session about their operations and another presentation on entrepreneurship. It was a beautiful day out on the coast but we were stuck in this room for four hours; I thought my wife was going to kill me.

“We had two more days in San Sebastion and my wife and I set that time aside as our fun time outside of the tours and got a beautiful hotel with a view of the bay. I think we walked 15 miles each day, touring all these shops and restaurants throughout the area.”

Did you have any favorite foods while you were there?

IT Companies: Pintxos

“Pintxos! All the bars would offer small bites on the counter, and they were anywhere from a dollar to five dollars a piece. Wine was two dollars a glass, and we had lunch for nine dollars, both of us, together. It was very, very inexpensive.

“Every lunch meeting we had was over wine. Txakoli is their local wine, it’s what they’re really proud of. They serve it in all the hotels and restaurants.”

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

IT Companies: Beach

“It was fun to see it as a challenge, I like challenging myself. I had not taken a trip without working on my email since my honeymoon 28 years ago. I still had my laptop with me because we used it for a lot of our trip planning, but we had international logins disabled, so I couldn’t even access my email if I wanted to.

“It was nice to take that break. I did have my cell phone. If there was any emergency, someone could reach out if they had to, but I had no communication with the office for that entire time. It was great to really get away.”

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

Spain Alleyways

“I was looking forward to it! I enjoy my work, so I had a bunch of ideas I wanted to share,  what I had learned while I was there, and put all that stuff into action when I got back. I was really energized to get back to work and see everybody again.”

Enjoying the Away From Keyboard Adventure

Here at Intrust IT, we don’t want to blend in with other IT companies. We recognize the absolute necessity of extended, uninterrupted breaks 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.

And for those of you who might think, “Could this be the workplace for me?” We invite you to explore the possibility of joining our team of employee-owners, where a nine-day break is ingrained right into your job description. 

Explore our current job openings and envision yourself being a part of our team!

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