by Ben Horvath

Go to go not to get there. Escape to The MentawaiGo to go not to get there. Escape to The Mentawai

A surf holiday is good for business.

Hey workaholics please take note – scheduling a surf holiday is good for business. Blow off any feelings of guilt. Leave that old school Hellman or wild girl image behind, believing that you can burn the candle at both ends and never need a break.

Work attitudes have evolved. Sure we still have a long way to go, but a large percentage of employers and highly successful business owners now realize that taking a break can and does enhance productivity in the long run.

However, one alarming survey I read a few years back showed that half of the respondents were considering skipping their annual vacation, or worse still taking their work with them on their trip.

A more recent study, one that makes a lot more sense to me, clearly stated that 80 percent of small business owners who took a holiday were way more productive at work when they got back. More importantly it stated that a third of men who actually take this sensible step are less likely to die of heart disease.

We need to embrace those facts.

Burnout can and does damage your reputation and subsequently your business. You really need to be at the top of your game when at work. No one enjoys being stale or bored. Take an example from sports stars who take regular end of season or even mid season breaks. Fatigue, boredom or lack of interest can lead to lazy responses and poor output, risking relationships with key stakeholders.

So, here are seven reasons why taking a surf holiday is good for business.

IMG_6116bA good barrel is good for the mind, body and soul! Supersuck in Sumbawa

1 – Go to go, not to get there!

The office, factory or indeed any workplace is hardly the place for absolute inspiration. Shock horror, contrary to popular belief, your work/office environment is rarely the place that generates your most inspirational ideas or problem solving techniques. You rarely get creative or transforming, inspirational ideas while at work under immense pressure. A change of scenery on a surf trip, will not only improve your surfing, but it will also work wonders in regard to freshening your ideas up at work. When you relax, creativity usually flows. Your mind ticks over, starts asking different questions, you have a different take or perspective on things. You clear your mind and come back to work fresh, no longer tired.

“Vacations help us change the view, which can spark an idea or kick start creative thinking.” – Rieva Lesonsky, CEO GrowBiz Media.

Escape your comfort zone. Jump on a catamaran and surf New Caledonia’s Outer Atolls

Escape your comfort zone. Jump on a catamaran and surf New Caledonia’s Outer Atolls

2 – Get out of your comfort zone!

Escaping on a surf holiday is a challenge in more ways than one, because you are escaping from your comfort zone. Not only will you be surfing different waves, so you can try different turns and hopefully get shacked, but on the work front you will have to ensure the office is organized in your absence. It is the perfect chance to delegate; it is really beneficial to check out how the office copes without you. You will have to organize your emergency contact procedures just in case, but ideally there should be no other contact with the office.

“Without vacations, we all become droids on network steroids, perhaps the president included.” – Lexy Funk, CEO Brooklyn Industries.

Only a surfer knows the feeling. Take a D’Bora boat charter in The Mentawai

Only a surfer knows the feeling. Take a D’Bora boat charter in The Mentawai

3 – Only a surfer knows the feeling!

This is a no brainer. Every surfer can relate to that natural high or feeling of contentment when totally surfed out after an epic day of waves. The bonuses are obvious. There is an unexplainable natural stoke.  You feel better, sleep well and your mood is lifted – natural endorphins. Stress and anxiety dissipate, whilst heart and blood pressure return to normal levels.

“Vacations are extremely important. I come back energized and refueled and some of my best innovation either happens on vacation or immediately following because I have left my stress at the office.” – Julie Jumonville, CEO of UpSpring Baby

Give your brain a break. Kandooma chillax zone.

Give your brain a break. Kandooma chillax zone.

4 – Give your brain a break!

Almost 4 decades have passed since the glory days of The Bob Hawke Surf Team. Australian work life is getting more and more hectic and competitive.

The majority of office workers have to deal with brain flooding where data in the form of emails, text messages and other documentation is a constant across the desks. Their brains are like sponges – they can only take so much.  But on a surf holiday ideas and exotic vistas can strengthen the neural connections and stimulate mental activity.

If you are seriously concerned that taking a surf holiday would allow your competitors to get ahead, think again. Research shows that the benefits of emotional stability and the mental relaxation process after a vacation will reposition you back at the top of your game.

Your brain will be buzzing and you will be on a motivational high when you get back. Now that should worry your competitors a lot more.

Network with like minded friends while you are away. Shesurfs Maldives trip

Network with like minded friends while you are away. Shesurfs Maldives trip

5 – Network with new friends whilst away!

While you are on a surf trip in paradise, you will no doubt meet new like minded people and you will engage with a bunch of them in chilled surroundings. They may well be in a similar line of business or completely the opposite. Either way they may be great new contacts, clients or just buddies worth maintaining contact via your LinkedIn, Face book or instagram account as a minimum.

The opportunities are endless. Never discount the potential to discover new leads, explore potential new markets, plan revenue generating ventures, and new partnerships. Some of the most inspirational discussions happen over dinner and or drinks on surf holidays. Most of the time such convo’s evolve organically and the follow is usually chilled out, minus and the pressure of general business connections.

Internet lounge - You can surf Kandooma Right and still get your work done in The Kandooma Internet lounge

Internet lounge – You can surf Kandooma Right and still get your work done in The Kandooma Internet lounge

6 – You will never know unless you go!

The Office, factory or your workplace will still be functioning while you are getting barreled! Hey if you are a business owner, you need to relax and realize the office can function well without you. You will be able to immediately judge whether your delegation of tasks and projects are on track to success in your absence or not. The old adage you will never know unless you go applies.

If you are an employee or a team leader, the same principle still pretty much applies. Yes, the office can do without you but in your case, you have shown that your organizing skills are excellent and that you have successfully planned ahead. The projects will all meet their deadlines and the team is working well together. Now that should impress your boss!

Don’t worry be happy. Mellow out between surfs at Aloita.

Don’t worry be happy. Mellow out between surfs at Aloita.

7- Don’t worry be happy!

Maybe you can buy stoke? Large accounting firm Ernst and Young compiled an interesting survey. They discovered that those who take more holiday time get consistently better grades on their performance assessment at year’s end. Overall their KPI’s were on average 8-10% better. Holidaymakers had greater job satisfaction and were more likely to stay with a particular company. All this and they didn’t even factor in tube time or stoke?

Bottom line – forget that old school unfounded work ethic that longer hours mean dedication and higher productivity. Bullocks!

Take a surf holiday already!








Written by:
Ben Horvath

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