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Beat the Winter Blues!

Rob Reaks , February 6, 2019

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How can you help your staff beat the Winter Blues? Simple, says Ian Lucas founder of Brighton Travel Experts, Red7. Book them a holiday…

Nothing beats a really great holiday, does it? Think about the last time you had a really fantastic trip. That incredible hotel overlooking a soft sandy beach, the fabulous Greek island villa where you BBQ-ed by the pool; nights spent sampling local specialities in tiny tavernas and dancing on tables in bars and where the days were spent relaxing by an infinity pool having an ice cold beer.  

Now contrast that with the the long grey Great British winter, where staff morale – unsurprisingly –  hits rock bottom. Cold mornings, dark evenings, Norovirus, colds and flu and months before there’s a warm ray of sunshine in sight. You’d think we’d be desperate to book our next great escape but consider this: a third of Brits didn’t use all their annual leave in according to 2017 research by British Airways, and 16 per cent said they didn’t because they felt guilty.

It’s time to ditch that guilt. Because at Red7, it’s always holiday season. We’ve spent 32 years perfecting creative, inspired and hassle-free group travel and events and, trust me, at our North Laine HQ we can always feel the sun on the back of our necks. Whether we’re arranging a mini-break to Marbella for a fabulous Hen or Stag do or Big Birthday, orchestrating a small company’s horizon-broadening week away to Dubai, arranging a team-building weekend in the Italian Alps or planning special incentive travel to reward high performing staff, we know the power and magic of a great big (or little) trip.

Whether you’re in the Manchester or Miami, the cliché is true. Travel broadens the mind, gladdens the soul and offers new perspectives on business and life. Spending on great global experiences is so much more rewarding than any material thing you can buy. Travel, whether it’s for business, pleasure or a mixture of both (some call it ‘Bleisure’), is simply life affirming. So grab your passport, pick a place and book those tickets. Here are some travel-inspired tips to help boost your staff morale through the dreary winter months.

Amazing Away Days

We’re all spending longer and longer at the office: in fact Britains have the longest working week in Europe and the boundaries between work and play are ever more blurred. As a business owner, use this to your advantage: you know your team is everything to your business, so make your team-building terrific. Ditch that dull ‘Away Day’ building bridges made out of spaghetti in a windowless conference room; instead, take your team to a fabulous villa in Ibiza or Marbella and strategize in the sun. It might sound like a more expensive option, but booked well in advance you’ll get the best deals and choice on both flights and group accommodation. After a few days away in a refreshing new destination, your team will return completely motivated and ready to go.

There are so many fantastic destinations to try and the Red7 product team works long and hard finding the best new spots for teams to enjoy. For a wellness-oriented group getaway, head for fantastic Obonjan Island off the western coast of Croatia where you can do yoga from sunrise to sundown, listen to inspiring lectures and accomodation is in luxury bell tents. Or head out further to Dubai – the ultimate in modern cities. Here, the hotels are huge, eating and entertainment possibilities endless and where the temperature has only two settings: hot and hotter. You might even consider New York: planned in good time, you can easily do the Big Apple in a long weekend.

Offer Incentive Travel

Every wise company owner knows that keeping your staff vibe high will result in business growth. At Red7 we know this is true, and we practice what we preach using ‘Incentive’ or ‘Reward Travel’ to send high-performing and long-serving staff members away on fabulous trips. Last year, we sent my Personal Assistant Sadie Ball to holiday on Sri Lanka’s coastal paradise, Bentota and Sales Manager Viki Baines had a fantastic two week holiday to Ocho Rios, Jamaica – both rewards for their hard work, loyalty and dedication. In 2017, to celebrate the Red7 brand turning 21 I took the entire 42 strong staff out to Marbella for an all-expenses-paid holiday, where we celebrated for three days. The staff loved every moment with media reporting that I was “Britain’s Best Boss.”

Help Staff Save for Holidays

Over 30 percent of workers say perks and benefits are at the top of their list when considering accepting a new job and these days, competition to retain good staff is tough. So if you’re an SME and you want to offer your employees an extra special perk in their package, then consider setting up a Red7 Staff Holiday and Travel Club . Our new subscription scheme for SMEs allows staff to save towards their holidays whilst they are employed by you, additionally accruing a 5 percent bonus.  So if a staff member sets up a subscription to save £200 a month, they’ll actually receive £231 to spend and we’ll organise their holiday for them, hassle free. Red7 offers holidays to suit all budgets from great value to super luxe and our service is the best around. With busy and stressful lives, we owe it to ourselves to have some proper down time. In my mind, we should always make it our job to make time for a holiday.

Check out this article in Sussex Business Times magazine online here.

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