This summer, you may be planning a vacation. But odds are, you’ll also be checking your emails while on vacation. 62% of travelers report that they plan to check their work emails while away from the office. This number has significantly increased from three years ago when only 50% of people checked email on vacation. It’s only natural for us to want to stay connected and make sure everything is alright while we’re away. What if something urgent is happening and people need your help? But in actuality, checking your email on vacation may end up doing more harm than good.
You Need to Recharge
People need a full break from work in order to recharge, relieve stress, and feel rejuvenated. If you continue to work while on vacation, this could make you even more stressed. You could end up spending your entire vacation thinking about all the things you need to do and everything going on at work. To prevent work thoughts from creeping into your vacation time, stay completely disconnected and put all thoughts of work out of your mind.
A Blow to Company Culture
Companies take painstaking steps to promote a positive and productive company culture. A small thing like responding to an email while on vacation could undo much of this hard work. One seemingly innocuous email sends many negative messages. It implies that you don’t trust your colleagues to handle things without you or that you didn’t take the necessary steps to prepare before leaving for vacation. It can make others feel obligated to check email on vacation too, leading to resentment and ultimately dissatisfaction with the company. In companies where unplugging while on vacation is not supported, employees are less likely to feel engaged and committed to the company. They will start to feel undervalued and will more likely to look for another job.
Lead by Example
The only way that people will really feel comfortable unplugging is if they see their superiors doing the same. Managers must lead by example and not check or respond to emails while away in order to encourage people to truly recharge. Only 14% of managers and 7% of more senior executives unplug while on vacation, and their teams follow suit. 77% of people report that they would prefer a technology free vacation. If managers begin to take unplugged vacations, it will be beneficial for everyone in the company.
So, unplug during your next vacation — you and your colleagues will be happy you did! But don’t forget to set your out of office message before you go, check out our most recent post on creative out of office messages for some inspiration.