Vacations and Work
As I briefly references in last year's Top of Mind on My Week Without a Smartphone, I am not one who subscribes to the theory that working during vacation is evidence of a lack of work/life balance. In fact, I am on vacation as I write this! And I do not feel that it negatively impacts my ability to recreate. Now, I know some of you (perhaps, many of you) may disagree, but here is why working on vacation works for me:
- I am not doing the same amount of work on vacation that I would do normally — Outside of my weekly responsibilities, such as Tweeting, writing this Top of Mind column and PLANSPONSOR’s Ask the Experts, my schedule is much lighter, as I have my out of office notification on and my email and voicemail turned on. And, because I write regularly, these tasks do not take much of a time commitment, allowing me to truly enjoy my vacation with my family.
- I am a night person — Work often gets done after my family is asleep, so I am not detracting from their leisure time with me.
- Regardless of whether I work or not, the work will need to be done — If I don’t do it now, and I can’t arrange for someone else to do it (and, as the founder of Holiday Inn once said, “No job is too hard as long as you are smart enough to find someone else to do it for you.”), the work will be waiting for me when I return from vacation. So it is not as if I am eliminating work by refusing to complete tasks on vacation.
- I like what I do — Now, I wouldn’t work for free or anything like that, but I am fortunate enough that, as far as work goes, it is probably as enjoyable for me as it can be. Thus, I can imagine that working during vacation is far less stressful for me than for someone who hates their job.
- My work/leisure lines are a bit blurred anyway — Even outside of vacation, it is not unusual for me to work on evenings and weekends, since the demands of our nationwide client base can call for that. The strict 9-5 schedule became a thing of the past for me some time ago, as more and more of our clients’ workforce telecommutes or otherwise works in a nontraditional fashion. However, I do not believe that my work schedule is particularly burdensome, just different, and it would not be unusual for me to take some time out of normal business hours for a family event if I am not on a deadline for a project. My top priority is making certain that all of my work is of high quality and is completed on time; the work schedule I utilize to accomplish that is secondary.
So there you have it. Do you agree with me? Think I’m a burnt-out workaholic? Do you work on vacation or avoid it like the plague? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: This feature is to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice, and cannot be used or substituted for legal or tax advice.
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