As if it isn't problematic enough that the average American worker is entitled to only 10 vacation days each year, 40 percent of people don't even use half of them. Employees prove far more concerned with falling behind or appearing less dedicated to their work than reaping the creativity and productivity benefits that come along with a little down time.
But what would happen if employers required each worker to abandon the office and unplug from their job? A whole lot of good, according to thinkPARALLAX.
This California-based creative agency is one the few companies today approaching the country's vacation problem with an open, progressive mind. Recognizing that time off can actually make employees better at their jobs, co-founders Jonathan Hanwit and Guusje Bendeler are sending each of their employees on trips around the globe to help them detach from work and discover a new sense of inspiration at the same time.
"Jonathan and Guusje are world travelers themselves who know firsthand the inspiration derived from travel," thinkPARALLAX team member Julia McCann told The Huffington Post. "They wanted to find a way to share their passion for travel with their employees in a way that engages our mostly-millennial workforce, benefits our clients, and results in better work."
Each employee travels to a different destination and keeps their location a secret during the trip, only giving clues via blogs and Instagram photos about their experience along the way. From Machu Picchu to Berlin to New Zealand, each team member brings back a fresh perspective and renewed sense of energy toward their work.
"This mystery element -- and the fact that we're all in this together -- has really helped us to bond as a team," said McCann, who spent her trip trekking through Costa Rica. "We're all supportive of the person who's traveling, taking on each other's work, but also knowing we can rely on others to cover our work while we’re away."
Check out some of the photos from their travels below.