TED have shut down operations for two weeks, from mid-July to August. No working allowed, not even from home!

TED.com editor Emily McManus published her post to explain why she and all the workers at TED were all being forced to take two weeks' holiday, something that has been a company policy at TED since 2009.

The main reason for this break is that the company believes that this short mid-year break enhances the overall productivity of the company!

June Cohen, our Executive Producer at TED, stated about the policy, "When you have a team of passionate, dedicated overachievers, you don't need to push them to work harder. Instead, you need to help them rest. By taking two weeks altogether, it makes sure everyone takes a vacation," she says. "Planning a vacation is hard—most of us would feel a little guilty to take two weeks off if it weren't pre-planned for us, and we'd be likely to cancel when something inevitably came up. So this creates an enforced rest period, which is important for productivity and happiness."

Some business owners and managers may think this is crazy, but the success of TED and the motivation of employees speak for themselves.

So why is this such a great idea?

1. Productivity.

Getting things done has little to do with time and more to do with your team's efficiency. A rested employee will achieve twice as much as an exhausted employee when given the same time.

2. Creativity. 

Refreshed employees are more creative. Think of how creative you are early in the week compared to a Friday afternoon after a long week.

3. Retention and Loyalty. 

Employees who feel that their employer cares will stay longer, be more loyal and demonstrate more significant commitment and dedication to the business.


Hire highly motivated people who push themselves, ensure you look after them, and force them to recharge.

With this lesson in mind, rostering your staff becomes paramount to ensure you are spreading the load equally among your high performers. Check out our rostering software RosterElf to understand how you can better share the workload across your employees and learn from TED!


Simon Ingleson

CEO/Founder @ RosterElf

Magically Simple Staff Rostering