By James King
Iceland has trotted out a service that lets horse reply to work emails when you’re on vacation.
The world-first ‘OutHorse Your Email’ service is designed to encourage travelers to take a break and have an uninterrupted trip to the countryside.
Using a large keyboard mat, the gaited horses are able to walk, trot, canter, tölt, and pace their way across the keys.
Tölting and pacing are a four-beat gait and a two-beat gait, respectively, unique to Icelandic horses that make riding very comfortable.
Unsurprisingly, when the horses use the cartoonish, outsized keyboard, the result is nonsense replies to corporate contacts, such as “þþnjifai=’.,,lmbmbnbbhgycdrgzw/’pfæ ndaiFVxhðut7r7r7djsmfdsm” and “þnjifai’/.p,oii9unnbhvggyvgjhbjm,kfæ,.iklp–jpomohu o/’k;,i,mumnf.”
A recent global study by Visit Iceland, the island country’s official tourist bureau, found that two fifths (41 percent) of people globally check their work emails between 1 and 4 times a day while vacationing, and 1 in 10 (14 percent) view them between 5 to 6 times every day.
Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir, who heads Visit Iceland said: “When visitors travel to Iceland we want them to fully experience everything our nation has to offer, from breathtaking surroundings to endless landscapes and friendly faces.
“Our OutHorse Your Email service lets them do just that, taking away the pressure of feeling as if they have to be always on and instead allowing them to be present throughout their trip. With our world-first service we hope to encourage people to disconnect and take a well-deserved, uninterrupted break.”
Jelena Ohm, Project Manager of Horses of Iceland said: “Our talented horses took naturally to the OutHorse Your Email service, tölting and galloping their way across the fields and creating a range of unique emails that will help holidaymakers enjoy their trip without any interruptions. From curiosity, intelligence and independence, our horses are special for many reasons, and so now we can add email responders too.”
Due to the pandemic, over the last few years many workers have transitioned to remote working, finding that the lines between their work and personal lives have become blurred.
The research by Visit Iceland revealed that three fifths (59 percent) of people globally now feel as if their boss, colleagues and clients expect them to reply while on a break, while less than half (44 percent) of workers actually feel rested after a trip.
A further 1 in 10 (15 percent) have even canceled or postponed their vacation plans altogether due to work. That’s why Iceland is ‘outhorsing’ workers’ emails to its horses, asking them to trot out replies, so they don’t have to.
Visit Iceland added: “So, don’t be foal-ish, enjoy a distraction-free trip to Iceland and remember, if you do receive work emails while on holiday, Iceland’s horses have you covered.”
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