Why IT Companies Should Allow 9 Days Away From Keyboard

Why IT Companies Should Allow 9 Days Away From Keyboard - 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 IT companies, expressed concerns about always being caught up in the whirlwind of their daily routines. How could we fix this issue?

Behold: the “Nine Days Away From Keyboard” initiative. We’ve been sharing the results here on the blog. This month’s adventure is set in Portugal, the stage for a much-needed honeymoon.

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 IT 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 Alec Wickham, an Intrust IT client success manager.

Alec recently went on an unforgettable adventure to Portugal to explore a new country with his wife, shortly after they got married, and experience the sights and taste the sensations of the region.

What were some of your vacation highlights?

Alec Wickham: “The biggest draw was the food culture. My wife, Kate, and I love food, and we love seafood, so we budgeted our money and saved to visit a Two Star Michelin Restaurant.”

“That Tuesday in Lisbon was just a blast. From doing a food tour with our Airbnb host, Pedro, to walking around the city and exploring. Once the tour was done, Kate and I went out on our own to explore the castle and we felt like locals the whole day, eating local food and seeing all these cool local spots.”

“When we went to Madeira, my two highlights there were the boat tour, getting to swim, paddleboard, snorkeling and just talking to Fabio and Gloria, our guides, and hearing about the Madeira culture as well was really interesting. The last day we were in Madeira, we took a Mini Cooper around the island. Getting to drive with the top down and stomp around all these places was exceptional.”

IT Companies Should Allow 9 days AFK Alec Lisbon

Did you have any favorite foods while you were there?

“During the food tour, we went to this sandwich shop. Anthony Bourdain has been there. They sell these pork sandwiches you put a spicy sauce and mustard on. They were surprisingly amazing.”

“There was a pastry we tried called pastel de nata, little, round, custard-filled pastries that were really delicious. I’d also say the octopus I had was amazing, I had monkfish for the first time. I had paella for the first time and shrimp, prawn and cheese risotto… That was dynamite.”

9 days AFK Alec Lisbon food

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

“100 percent. I feel like a lot of folks should adopt it. I think it’s good to encourage people to get away from the keyboard for a week. I know that there are some people out there who are workaholics and don’t want to do that, and they’d rather take short vacations, but a lot of them probably don’t realize what a week off of work feels like.”

“I know I haven’t had a vacation in a long time. That was the first vacation I had taken in over a year. For me, it felt like I was completely reset. I felt mentally refreshed.”

9 days AFK Alec Madeira boat

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

“It’s always nerve-wracking coming back, a lot of emails, a lot of missed messages, but at the end of the day, a lot of the things have already passed or somebody’s jumped in to help you out with it. I was excited to come back to work and after the first day, I was caught up.”

“It helped a lot knowing I had a team to support me while I was away. That’s a big part of it, too, it’s hard for people to leave their work to others. And I think being able to do this helps you have faith in your team and let coworkers take care of things while you’re gone.”

“It teaches you that the world will go on without you. I think that’s hard for some people to sink their teeth into. But I encourage this kind of break for everybody. It’s awesome.”

“Having the ability to dictate my own schedule for a week out of the year to do what I want and not having to worry about work is a great feeling.”

9 days AFK Alec Madeira car

Enjoying Your Break (Away From Keyboard)

Here at Intrust IT, we don’t want to be just like other IT 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 Spain.

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. 

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

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