TED is one of the few organizations that grants employees the gift of a forced two-week summer break. Visit TED.com and you’ll see no new TED talks until August 4. Try getting in touch with employees this week, via email, phone, or carrier pigeon. You’ll have some trouble. …
The New York City nonprofit has been doing its two-week summer shutdown since 2009 (it also takes off the week between Christmas and New Year’s). The other week, I caught up with June Cohen, executive producer of TED Media right before she took off on a cell phone service-free trip to a rainforest. “We all know how hard it is to plan a vacation. Most of us would feel too guilty to even take two weeks off, if it weren’t pre-planned for us. And we’d be likely to cancel when something inevitably came up. This creates an enforced rest period, which is so important for both productivity and happiness,” she dashed off in an email.
… Cohen says she’d recommend the TED policy to other companies. “The impact on morale, productivity, and overall happiness is stunning. Plus… imagine how relieving it is to take a two-week vacation when all your work email stops.”
This makes sense. Filing this away for future reference.