In our latest installment of places where you wish you worked, a California creative agency named thinkParallax recently gave each one of its employees $1,500 and an extra paid day off to travel somewhere they've never been and get inspired. The catch? They have to blog about their journey.
"Some people might call this crazy. We’re calling it Parallaxploration," says the agency. Which is great because parallax is the difference in perspective you get by looking at the same object from two different positions. In other words, the agency's very name suggests that traveling to new places gives you a new perspective on the same old thing.
"The goal of Parallaxploration is not only to ensure happy employees, but also to provide them with energizing experiences that will allow them to continue creating exceptional work for our clients," the agency adds.
The little design inspirations that naturally come from exploring new cultures are exactly what you see in the four blog stories already posted—Germany, Holland, Peru and New Zealand. From ancient to modern, pastoral to urban, those four locations have already created a breadth of influence for creative exploration.
The agency also says it hopes its experiment makes other companies think differently about employee engagement, and I wonder if this sort of thing could catch on. The agency where I work gave each of us a $1,000 Delta credit last year for the same reason, but we didn't blog about our journeys. (Missed opportunity? Or a welcome lack of corporate oversight?)
The important part is, there's nothing preventing this good idea from becoming a movement. Or an individual creative from remembering how important it is to always be open to travel and new experiences.