I recently read this article on Does Mobile Technology Ruin Vacations? That is the question and it all depends. Suppose you really need your vacation to recharge your battery? In that case, it is probably already too late and a sign that you waited to long to take vacation in the first place. To add to this, vacation organization also always gives some extra (healthy?) stress. So if you find yourself in this shape and then add to your company smartphone to your hand luggage, you may ask yourselves, is this good or bad? Do I really need to see the e-mails going around and react on them when lying on the beach? At least you show total commitment and the boss will be impressed. Yes I’m reachable day and night and even on my vacation.  It is very likely that you will receive an email which needs action at the office and you feel you are the best person who can deal with the issue. But this can often lead to you feeling a bit uncomfortable, perhaps even stressed and maybe you hardly can sleep. Your kids need your attention, but you aren't there, the issue runs through your head and distracts you from the fun parts of the vacation. Your spouse starts questioning you whether you even enjoy your vacation since you became so silent and get angry at the smallest possible incident with the kids.  You are not recharging yourself, in fact, your battery gets drained to an unhealthy level. So, does mobile technology ruin vacations? Yes, sometimes it does, even if you think it does not. The awareness is in many cases not there. If your spouse asks you: “Do you really need to check your mail?” or “Can’t you turn of the Blackberry for one day?” You should ask yourself:  Am I on vacation or am I working? The trend is changing as some companies even close the email accounts during the vacation of the employee. It turns out that this has a very positive effect on the employees. They can recharge their battery completely and sick leave tends to go down. In fact Daimler in Germany has done just this, employee emails automatically deleted during their vacations and the number of burn outs at the Mercedes Benz factory has gone down since they started doing this. You get vacation days to truly take a break from work making it possible for you to do your job the rest of the year.  And you, you can finally enjoy the badminton game with your kids, and even when you lose, you are enjoying yourself. Vacation days are sparse moments in life that you have to share with the family, friends or even to be in solitude. So don’t let email ruin these precious moments.

1 Comment

  1. I would not like at all it if my company automatically blocked my I email when I am on vacation. I do not want the benevolent dictators of the corporation to decide what it good for me or not. We do not live in the 1920's anymore.

    The article that you link to also has a bit on not answering your emails when you are on a business trip. The author obviously does not know how incredibly boring these nights alone in the hotel are!

    I think we should all be wise enough to decide how much time we want to spend on work when we are not in the office. But it has to be conscious decision, so let this blog post be a trigger for everyone to think about it.

    (Yes I sleep with my Blackberry, but I only answer really urgent emails outside of office hours, and work never keeps me awake, sometimes not even in the office ;-)