It’s not only employees who benefit from vacations – companies also reap rewards through raised productivity. Make colleagues feel special and missed with welcome-back-to-work gifts.
Make a colleague feel valued with a handwritten “Welcome back” note. © Swarovski
The effect of a great vacation lingers long after the suitcases have been unpacked and the holiday wardrobe is back in the closet. It has physical and psychological benefits that ripple out into the world of work. There’s a significant body of research that shows vacation time not only recharges the batteries and restores a sense of wellbeing, it also frees the mind to think more creatively. All of this has far-reaching implications when it comes to going back to work.
Downtime Drives Creativity
A study by researchers at the Universities of Mannheim and Ulm showed that taking time off makes employees more resilient, and also drives productivity when they’re back at work. Nearly two-thirds of the employees in the study said that they were “refreshed and excited to get back to my job” after their break1. These findings echo those of psychologist Professor Barbara Fredrickson at the University of North Carolina, whose research shows that positive emotions of the kind experienced on the most relaxing holidays stimulate creativity and, very appropriately, blue-sky thinking2.
A Warm Welcome Back to Work
Employers can enhance the post-vacation feel-good factor by welcoming them back with a thoughtful gift: a picture frame to hold a vacation photo that will reconnect a colleague, client or business associate with a particular place or moment in time. Or a well-chosen gesture that will make a routine workday feel a little more special, such as a sleek ballpoint pen so perfectly balanced in the hand that it turns note-taking into an unexpected pleasure. Alternatively, consider an elegant watch that will complement a summer outfit and a suntan. The key is to choose gifts that demonstrate appreciation for their hard work before they took their well-deserved vacation, and also shows how wonderful it is to have them back.
Make note-taking a pleasure with a beautifully balanced ballpoint pen. © Swarovski
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1 Kühnel, Jana & Sonnentag, Sabine. (2011). How long do you benefit from vacation? A closer look at the fade‐out of vacation effects. Journal of Organizational Behavior.
2 American Psychological Association (2001)