Over the past few weeks, I’ve taken a look at a couple of studies that show how the iPhone, iPad, and other consumer technologies that are being embraced at the office are shifting the work/life balance for most professionals. The always connected and available capabilities that our mobile technologies engender are pushing us towards more work and less life.
The first study showed that professionals using an iPhone, iPad, or other mobile devices on the job and at home often put in enough extra time during “off hours” to equal an extra day’s worth of work each week. The second study showed that many of us tend to bring work with us on vacation in the form of an iPhone or iPad (both of which are great for travel), a laptop, or even just cloud-based access to work resources.
That workaholic tendency may seem like it’s an inevitable part of twenty first century life. Certainly many professionals across the entire workforce have debated how much work they might be willing to do on vacation. Back in my days as an IT director, I remember leaving for a week off for my first wedding and honeymoon and asking my staff and my boss to try to avoid calling me. I followed that my telling them that I wound answer my phone if it rang any day except the day of the wedding (they managed to hold the fort down until the last day when I got an emergency call while driving home).
According to career expert Rebecca Thorman, there are ten very good reasons why we shouldn’t be willing to work while on vacation (wedding or not). These ten reasons cover an awful lot of ground and many of them are really worth considering before you offer to respond to emails, take calls, or connect to your office remotely while you’re away.
- You set a precedent.
- Getting ahead isn’t worth it.
- You need a break.
- Work-life balance is becoming a blur.
- You’ll be a drag.
- You’ll miss out.
- Travel is work already.
- Wi-Fi is often slow and unreliable.
- You can travel lighter.
- The old adages are true. When you’re lying on your deathbed, will you wish you had spent more time working?
More details on those reasons and the effect on you, your family or travel companions, and your office relationships can be found in Thorman’s column for U.S. News.