In theory, most of us know that taking an uninterrupted break from work allows us to refresh and recharge, so that we’re more productive when we return.
But new research suggests that the siren call of the smartphone is too much for some business execs to handle, even while they’re on vacation.
According to a survey by Robert Half Management Resources, as many as 68% of chief financial officers said they typically are in touch with the office at least once a week while on summer vacation. That’s a 20-point increase from three years ago.
The survey found that CFOs were more likely to say they checked in with the office daily (35%) than not at all (32%). And 15% of respondents said they touched base with the office several times a day while cruising the Caribbean or climbing the Eiffel Tower.
“I believe it is the result of the improvement in mobile technology,” Ted Collins, senior vice president at Half, told The New York Post.
The problem, he said, is twofold. First, CFOs risk getting burned out because they can’t completely enjoy their time off. And second, when the execs are unable to stop working, other employees may start following suit — if they haven’t already.
In 2013, a survey by Pertino found that nearly 60% of American employees check work email and take work phone calls regularly while they’re on vacation.
Yet, perhaps surprisingly, many people said the ability to stay in touch with the office makes them less stressed, maybe because they feel like they aren’t missing something urgent.
Whether you’re a high-level exec or an entry-level employee, there are a few things you can do to manage your time off effectively. Most importantly, let your team know whether you’ll be checking email and, if so, how often. You may also want to return from vacation a day or two before you head back to the office, so you have time to weed through your messages.
By planning how you’ll stay connected to the office before you go away, you’ll have a better shot at truly reaping the benefits of your vacation.
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