As the end of the year approaches to its end, it is a good time to reflect on 2016 and what we’ve achieved, and also to look forward and wonder how to make 2017 even better.

Something that I have been thinking about a lot lately is how, despite gains made through technology increasing every year, too many of us seem to be working longer hours than ever.

Luckily most of us have the chance to take some time off during the festive season. It’s about more than just relaxing. It means having time to reflect, to ponder, to contemplate, to noodle, to loaf, even to get bored.

How often do you hear people say they have their best ideas when on holiday, or fishing, or at their summer cottage? When our minds escape the clock it opens the door to original thinking, to sudden realisations, to solutions to apparently intractable problems.

The world is starting to realise that just being at work more doesn’t necessarily produce either more work or good work. As one example, earlier this year the French government proposed a new law whereby companies would have to ensure employees didn’t answer emails evenings or weekends.

This is very much about a philosophy that I believe in. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the commitment and enthusiasm of all my colleagues and friends. It’s more that part of repaying that commitment and enthusiasm is ensuring that everyone has room, and time, to live and just be.

It’s not pure altruism. I enjoy having colleagues with depth, with interests outside work, with a variety of perspectives informed by a breadth of experience. I get excited when people have been camping or at the beach or off skiing and the light bulb has gone on over their head and they stride back into work on a Monday morning with a new great idea.

This is a time of year when it’s good for us take a while to step aside, reflect and assess what we’ve achieved in the course of these 12 months and think what we’re going to do in 2017.

And I mean ‘we’. Everyone plays a vital part and everyone is someone who could have one of those great ideas. All of us deserve time to ourselves so we can continue to make ours an inspiring place to work and in turn inspire other companies to be organisations that bring out the best in their people. And let’s not forget our customers and our growing network of friends out there. At least to me, they provide a never-ending supply of inspiration, motivation and support and that is fuel in the engine that drives us forward.

So with that let me wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Have fun. Kick back. Don’t look at work emails! If it were that important someone would ring!

Above all unwind and get in touch with the you that’s bigger than just the work-you. That bigger you is why you’re here, why you make a difference and why 2017 is going to be an even greater year.

Have a wonderful holiday season,