Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Working Vacations

Even with Mr. Sam's work issues, we just returned from a long weekend.  While, we could have cancelled the trip, this preplanned long weekend will probably be our only vacation together this summer so I voted to move forward with our trip.  I do have an upcoming family trip which is not really a vacation and Mr. Sam will not attend.

And, even though Mr. Sam was not really excited about this trip, mostly because he is worried about finding a new job, we had a great time.  We spent time together, we relaxed, we spent time with friends, we had fun, etc.

But, like most professional Americans, I never really disconnected from my office.  My normal vacation/work protocol is to work, in a focused manner, during travel time.  I specifically bring work that is easier to tote or that is in .pdf form on my iPad so I can read or review materials while flying or driving (assuming that Mr. Sam does the driving).  Then when I arrive at our vacation destination, I generally stop working but I continue to attend to emails/deadlines and issues that may arise.  I try to limit how often I check emails to early morning, lunch and then mid-afternoon (before my assistant leaves for the day).

I would like to disconnect when I'm on vacation, but coming back to several days of unread emails almost ruins the point of vacation.  Today is my first day back in the office and I've spent nearly half the day reading all my emails even though I was keeping an eye on them and responding to important ones.  If I had disconnected altogether I'd lose even more time.

What do you do?  If your stay connected to the office during your vacations, how does that impact your ability to relax and recharge?  How does your spouse feel if you work during a family vacation?   

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