On the go is your innovation story inspired from elsewhere. In the midst of a warmly welcomed summer season, WAI lists top innovators’ reasons to go on vacations and take some minimum break. If not just restful, it seems times-off often participate to develop creativity. Why is it so?
According to Emma Seppala from HBR, “Research by Sabine Sonnentag suggests that detaching from work is essential to enhanced productivity. Her work has shown that, while people who do not detach from work suffering from greater levels of exhaustion, those who do recover from job stress and are more likely to have higher engagement levels at work.” Yes, there is still a cultural bias in many companies considering “too much time off” as a sign of demotivation. We should typically reverse that trend and show how rested employees and employers bring much more values than emotionally exhausted ones.
Going on vacations can also help you disconnect and “Dream Big”, as CAMP is inviting you to do. Maura Pennington from Forbes participated to the last session of this retreat for entrepreneurs, organized by Sonja Rasula. Maura explains how “Former YMCA counselor and college student Marley Cullors commented, “It’s so inspiring. I feel like I can do whatever I want. No is never an answer.” CAMP is a place where you can meet innovation peers and start-up owners to share feelings “outside the classroom”. Being “outside” makes a difference: you share and experience new sources of motivations that energizes you usual creativity levers. It does help you dream “bigger”.
Cities are also growing bigger, and so is our need for a better work life balance. It is not about being on vacations all the time, it is more about creating an environment that allows spirit to wonder enough so it finds new ideas. It is about comfort and creativity. Jessica Leber reports on a new index that can estimate this comfort for major cities in the world. In her article for Forbes, she explains that “The GLCI balances the emphasis of the clout club indices on a city’s ability to project influence and to provide economic opportunities against the emphasis of the comfort club indices on a city’s capacity to delight the aesthetic senses and to provide recreational activities”.
Vacations do not have to lead to inactivity. It is good to disconnect from work, but that’s only to reconnect with self. As Tassi Brodesser Akner explains for GOOD, “If the goal of mindfulness practice is to help one cope with the perceived pressures of life, it may be effective for some. But if another goal is to make the world a better place, perhaps that time could be better used by actually doing something, rather than not doing anything. This is all we have, this one life, and I choose to engage.” Vacations and mindfulness as a way to be who we really are, a remembrance, an engagement that at least for a limited period, we do not loose of sight our reason to be. Time for ourselves, in any shape that could be.
At the end of the day, how would you be prepared to go back to work with the necessary energy if your vacations haven’t brought anything to you. Vacations can help to shape you a little differently so you can have a different look on work related situations. As Linda Brimm explains for INSEAD Knowledge, “An adaptive capacity is needed for meeting the challenges of a global life. When Global Cosmopolitans talk about new situations, they often adapt so seamlessly that they can’t describe how it happened”. Living abroad, traveling abroad, meeting new cultures and new mindsets not only leads to better cooperate with the world, it also helps you find your own place and value.
At a time when pressure and workload seem to disappear behind a more intelligent and flexible way of working, it is necessary to relearn the value of vacations for individuals and businesses. It is not about doing nothing and running away from work. It is all about bringing the best possible value to projects and organizations by cultivating this value in environments and situations a workplace cannot create, simply because it’s not meant to. Vacations have their own merits and purpose which innovation practitioners can benefit from if they learn to properly recover, discover, rest, be themselves and stay themselves when going back to work.