“for this, let gardens grow, where beelines end, sighing in roses, saffron blooms, buddleia; where bees pray on their knees, sing, praise in pear trees, plum trees; bees are the batteries of orchards, gardens, guard them.” ― Carol Ann Duffy, The Bees
With remote work on the rise and email so easily accessible on smartphones, it’s become increasingly difficult to feel like you can truly unplug from your job—even when you’re on vacation. In a recent U.S. survey conducted by Visit Iceland, 45 percent of participants confessed to checking their work email during vacation. And because Visit Iceland doesn’t want you to check your work email during your Icelandic getaway, the organization has enlisted a few of the peaceful country’s most adorable horses to make sure you don’t.
First, team members created a fully functional QWERTY keyboard that was large enough for the horses to prance across—and then they let them do exactly that. Afterwards, they used the nonsensical messages to create an “Outhorse Your Email” service. Basically, you hire one of three hoofed office assistants available on the site. There’s Litla Stjarna frá Hvítarholti, a chestnut beauty who “types fast, but might take a nap”; Hrímnir frá Hvammi, an “assertive” and “efficient” shiny-haired gray horse; and Hekla frá Þorkellshóli, a “friendly” pinto horse who boasts an impressive knowledge of corporate buzzwords (not to mention an eye-catching black and white mane).
Once you choose a horse, all you have to do is enter your name, your email address, and the date of your final vacation day—and “Outhorse Your Email” will email you an out-of-office message partially written by your new Icelandic assistant. When you turn on automatic replies, copy and paste the message into the text box and put all work out of your mind. Your email correspondents would love to receive this: