Uh-Oh, It’s March Break! How to Help Your Employees Thrive – with the Kids In Tow

Written by Paul Marchildon, on March 3, 2015.

March Break Leisure March break when you’re a kid: “FREEEDOMMM!!!” March break when you’re a parent: “Oh, #@&*!!” Excuse my asterisk, but March Break is a near-crisis when employees have to work and their children demand nonstop fun and excitement, and you know, adult supervision. Crisis? …or opportunity to test leisureology and show employees you care about their work/life integration?

Lessening the Blow

After I tell you about Clockwork Active Media, you’re going to want to apply for a position. Nancy Lyons, CEO of this small digital strategy firm, says she wants her employees to bring their “whole selves to work.” Sometimes your whole self includes a kid. And they’re welcome anytime.

“It’s not work/life balance. It’s life balance, it’s all life. We bring our work home. We bring our lives to work.” This is why there are no set hours and unlimited vacation time.

(Aside: leisureology has to have measurable benefits. Otherwise, there’s no hope of overthrowing business as usual. The proof is in Clockwork’s success: it’s grown from “scrappy” startup to a thriving global organization with clients like General Mills and Target. This whole “life balance” thing is working out for them.)

If you worked here, your March break worries would be eliminated. Either take your children to work with you or just take the week off with them. You wouldn’t have to use limited vacation days to stay home or spend a fortune on day camps. Not every business offers these perks, but every business can – and should – make an effort to lessen the blow and meet the needs of their employees.


Take a page from Clockwork’s book: let your people bring their kids to work. They can help complete easy tasks, like filing or stuffing envelopes. It could be a weeklong March version of Bring Your Child to Work Day.

Incorporate leisure activities at work. Perhaps more fun than filing! Why not use the opportunity of “bring your kids to work” to test out some leisure activities? Stroll around on a Winter Walk through your neighborhood (March is still very much a Winter Wonderland most of the time!), go into the community for a volunteer day, have a bake-off or cooking competition, or set up a hot cocoa station. These types of initiatives help engage people in your company’s unique culture – and allow employees with and without kids to have fun at work, interact with colleagues, and refresh their minds and bodies. All of which we know boosts productivity and profitability.

Employees Lacking Motivation?

Paul Marchildon, an experienced Leisureologist, can work with you and your team to increase productivity by incorporating a leisure mindset into the workplace.

Give your employees a day or half-day off without charging for vacation time. Show them you care – and if you have kids, take the time too, if possible. Set a good example!

If budgets are tight or you need them to complete essential projects, allow employees to work outside their normal hours. So what if they come in at 5:00 when their partner comes home from work or for a few hours midday when the kids are at a friend’s house? It’s about results. If they’re meeting their obligations, it shouldn’t matter when they work.

It shouldn’t matter where they work either. This is a chance to measure the success of allowing people to work from home.

If they have young children, they won’t be as productive, but they can still get a lot done. And perhaps they can achieve more than if they were stuck at work, fielding calls from bored kids or worrying about childcare. At the same time, they’ll be able to spend some time with their family. The ability to integrate work and life only benefits them – and your organization.

Leisureology can turn an asterisk into an opportunity. Seize it during March break. This is an ideal time to start experimenting and see how you can successfully incorporate leisure into your workplace. Crisis averted.
Paul Marchildon

Paul Marchildon

A self-proclaimed Leisureologist and Motivational Speaker, Paul Marchildon applies his vast expertise in human engagement to help leaders create more productive, effective organizations. Building on an influential career as a pioneer in employee incentive and loyalty programs, strategic creative communications, social media and mobile marketing, Paul provides insight into the advantages of incorporating a leisure culture in the "work" place. He is past president of Society of Incentive and Travel Executives’ (Site) Canadian Chapter and founder of Atlantis Creative Group (now part of Maritz Canada). He is one of a select group of Canadians who have received the Certified Incentive Travel Executive (CITE) designation.