9 Days Away From Keyboard in Portugal

9 days away in Portugal

At Intrust IT, we recognize the significance of taking time off to recharge and rejuvenate. In 2023, we prioritized the well-being of our employees as a critical area of concern. We observed that our employees felt stuck in a repetitive routine. To smash the monotony, we introduced the "Nine Days Away From Keyboard" initiative.

This initiative mandates that all employees take a minimum of nine consecutive days off work, during which they can’t access work-related email, voicemail, chat messages or communication channels. In addition to this initiative, we have also increased the PTO allowance for every employee to further support their well-being.

So what is it like to be nine days away? Here’s a report from Todd Moore, an Intrust agreement administration manager, on his experience visiting three spots in Portugal:  Porto, Madeira and Lisbon.

What did you do on vacation? What were some of the highlights?

Todd Moore: “Porto is a beautiful city. It’s situated in a river valley, so there are some amazing areas to tour. It’s the place where all Port wine is made, so we got to walk around and see some important makers like Grahams. The samples were delicious.

“The people there are super kind. In Portugal, you have this even keel of everyone being nice to one another, it’s a very unique experience.

“The major highlight of the trip was traveling to Madeira, an island off the coast of Morrocco. Being on a tropical island was a lot of fun. We were lucky enough to get to see Carnival, which had an epic parade that literally went on for hours and hours. Tons of music and crazy costumes.”

Did you have a favorite food while you were traveling?

“Seafood is a huge thing there. I fell in love with limpets, it’s a shellfish. There’s scabbard fish, which is really popular in Madeira and also delicious, and there was a flatbread they made in Madeira that was traditional to the island slathered in butter and garlic that’s just amazing. They serve grilled meat, lamb and pork on these giant spears that hang up on a hook and they bring it out to your table.”

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

“Being able to take a long trip but not being allowed to check email or anything work-related is a unique experience I’ve never had. It really does not only let you check out and enjoy that time off, but people at work are expecting me to do this: It isn’t an inconvenience to another team or somebody. This is something we’re doing for our company to make our company better.”

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

“It allows you that time to come back fresh and do your best work. A company that invests in their employees by giving more PTO and nine days off consecutively – that’s pretty awesome, I’m a big fan.

“Usually when I take a long trip, as the days go on, I’m counting the days like, ‘Oh no, I only have five, I only have four days left,’ but this was the first trip where I didn’t have that in my head.”

Relax, You’ve Earned It

Ferris Bueller said it best: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” At Intrust IT, we know that taking a break is a must for both our employees and the company’s success, and we can’t wait to see where this new initiative takes us.

Stay posted for more updates on the 9 Days Away From Keyboard initiative.

Would you like to join our team of employee-owners and have a nine-day break built into your job description? Check out our open positions.

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