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(7 Posts)
Ormirian Wed 17-Aug-11 15:01:08

This is more or less what I do already Anyone else recognise it?

No need to panic over going on holiday. No heart-sinking feeling when you think of what could be happening when you aren't there. No dread of going back to work and finding that it's all gone tits up!

Healthy blend of work and holidays or the definition of workaholism?

lemonandhoney Wed 17-Aug-11 15:11:49

Horrible, horrible, word, even if it is tongue in cheek

I do check my email twice a day when I'm on holiday, if there's a decent signal or WiFi access - I will reply to anything pressing or forward it on to the right person. But I don't do the equivalent (for my profession) of "writing an article". I'm on holiday, the people in the office can do that.

I certainly wouldn't ever expect anyone on my team to check their email while they were on holiday. The reason I do it is to make sure I come back to a relatively empty inbox, and no nasty surprises. But I certainly wouldn't allow it to intrude in any way on my holiday time - and when I go away the week after next to the wilds of Dartmoor with no email access I am certainly not going to worry about it. And I'd be worried if one of my team was sending huge numbers of emails while on holiday (one of the other directors does this and it drives me crazy - he doesn't know what's been going on, and isn't properly engaged, so responding to his emails just acts as a distraction)

I also disagree with her point that professional people don't need designated holiday because the work and home boundary is so blurred - it's great to think that we wouldn't calculate annual holiday leave, and it's something we as a business are thinking about, but I do think it's important that people do go on holiday and take time to recharge. And I am very clear that when I am on holiday I am not going to be "working" in any sense that anyone would recognise as work (mind you, faffing around on MN right now probably isn't what my colleagues would consider "work" either)

Ormirian Wed 17-Aug-11 15:29:23

Yes it's a grim word.

And no I wouldn't write the equivalent of an article but I do check emails and help to solve problems if they are causing a lot of grief.

lemonandhoney Wed 17-Aug-11 15:45:01

I was on holiday with some friends recently. I did the check and send on emails, and made some brief comments on a report someone had prepared. One of my friends is self-employed, and understandably spent a lot of time working - he doesn't see a distinction between working from home and anywhere else, so doesn't really "do" holidays. Two others work (in fairly senior positions) for big companies, and didn't check their email at all while they were away. One friend got a call on the second day to say a big crisis was unfolding - she spent most of the next day on conference calls, writing emails and preparing a note for the board. Her view was it was just part and parcel of having a senior position in a company.

The interesting thing, when we talked about it, is that those of us who did work while we were away all love what we do. The others see them as jobs - not bad jobs, but just something they do to pay the bills - and therefore didn't want to spend time working while they were on holiday. Both viewpoints are equally valid, but they lead to different places. So perhaps it's partly about how you construct your own work life balance - certainly I think my colleagues would contact me if I was away because I've been clear I don't mind if it's important. And I do that because I am quite committed to what I do and I enjoy it. I've had jobs in the past where I would have been furious if anyone had tried to bother me while I was on holiday.

Maybe it's also a company size thing. Those of us who work are either self employed or in small organisations, whereas the others are in big companies. So fewer people to pick up the slack, shorter reporting lines etc?

inmysparetime Wed 17-Aug-11 16:06:04

I'm a nursery nurse so I definitely don't take my work on holiday with me, that would be wrong on so many levelsgrin. I do keep an eye out for smooth pebbles to use in heuristic play- does that count?

lemonandhoney Wed 17-Aug-11 16:29:32

I think that was one of the things that troubled me about her article - this assumption we all have computer based jobs that can be done anywhere. it only applies to a small section of employees in managerial, professional roles. That's true of lots of people, but certainly not everyone. You wouldn't take your work on holiday if you were a neurosurgeon, or a greengrocer, or a high court judge, or a car mechanic, or a taxi driver. Maybe she thinks those sorts of people don't read the FT. Maybe they don't...

drcrab Wed 17-Aug-11 16:45:04

I do some of that already... and I agree that although it means that there are no ugly shocks when one comes back from work, it also means that if you get a really crappy email about some crap that's going to hit the fan, I end up worrying about it during the holiday. Pointless really. So, this year, we're off to Devon on some farm. I don't think the WiFi will be working - thank God!

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