Is Technology Seriously Interrupting Our Vacation Time
Technology today is all around us. You have the IPad, Kindles, smartphones and more. Many of these devices allow you to access the internet from where ever you are. This means that the days of leaving work at the office are far behind us. With the latest technology, it is possible to take work with you no matter where you are.
Vacations have long been looked upon as those times of serious rest and relaxation. Whether it’s relaxing on a beach, taking a nice hike through a national park or just sitting at home and grilling in the backyard, vacation is supposed to be a time away from work. Yet instead of enjoying the time away from work many people are bringing work with them. It seems to be a never ending cycle of calls on your cellphone, checking and sending emails or even remotely accessing your computer programs at work.
Today the “traditional” office hours of 9 to 5, 8 to 4 or even 9 to 6 are no longer the standard because workers are putting in far more hours than that. They just are putting in those “extra” work hours after they leave the office because they are constantly working remotely from the dinner table or wherever they happen to be. While it starts out as replying to “one” simple email the truth is that it eventually rolls over to another email and then another email. The cycle goes on and on until you’re simply too tired to work anymore. What should be family time and time to unwind turns into an “out-of-office” work session.
The problem with vacation is that many people feel that while they need to rest, if they take a vacation they will only be backed up when they return to work. This will only add to more stress. So to alleviate even more stress they simply work while on vacation.
Having time to take a mental and physical break from work is important. You need to mentally and physically recharge. With the options of people to use their own devices for work purposes the days of rest and relaxation may be a thing of the past. While using these devices for entertainment purposes while on vacation is fine it takes a person being disciplined enough not to use it for work related purposes.
Businesses today need to have more defined policies in place for rules concerning using personal devices for work related purposes while on vacation. It’s nice to get work completed while taking vacation but the long term affects can cost companies more in the long run. Employees who work all the time and never take time for themselves can become mentally and physically exhausted. This can cause them to become sick which means they miss more work. In the end this costs the company more. Happy; healthy employees are productive employees.
In order to make vacation a time of rejuvenation it takes effort on the part of the employee and the employer. The bigger picture needs to be seen by both parties so that vacation can be a break from work. It’s ok for things to be let go while you are away from work. It’s ok to not check your business email or take a business call. Everyone needs and deserves a break. So if you can’t leave your devices at home then only use them for personal enjoyment and not work related purposes. Your mind and body will thank you in the long run and so will your employer.