BlackBerry on the Beach: You Call This a Vacation?

 
 
By Deborah Rothberg  |  Posted 2006-06-09
 
 
 

By choice or perceived necessity, a staggering 27 percent of the workforce will pack their laptops, cell phones and PDAs along with their flip-flops, beach hats and sunscreen this summer, according CareerBuilder.coms annual vacation survey released June 7.

While down from 33 percent in 2005, the number is a far cry from the days when getaways put the daily grind "out of sight and out of mind."

"Cell phones, pagers and other electronic devices can create an e-leash of sorts. Planning ahead, managing expectations and setting boundaries with your co-workers are key to making sure you get the break you need," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder.com in a statement.

Its men who are the biggest workaholics, with 33 percent expecting to work on projects or check in with the office when theyre scheduled for lounging, compared to 25 percent of women.

Still, the numbers are daunting across the board. Of the 84 percent of workers that plan to take a vacation this year, most say they dont think theyre taking enough time to recharge, with 32 percent taking a vacation for less than a work week (five days), and 10 percent limiting their vacations to weekend getaways.

Click here to read more about finding a work-life balance.

Despite this, the workforce is aching to unwind, with 77 percent of workers saying they feel burned out on the job.

Theyre not taking their working vacations lying down, however, with a slew of workers electing to outright lie about accessibility at their vacation destinations in hopes to catch a break.

Eleven percent of workers blamed bad wireless connections and other technology issues to avoid work while away, and of these, more men (13 percent) than women (10 percent) perjured themselves.

"Work can be demanding, but taking it all with you just brings the stress to a new location," said Haefner.

Haefner offers the overworked masses advice about getting the most relaxation out of their retreats, including giving the office your vacation contact information so they can contact you in an emergency and not vice versa.

Second, she suggests that workers schedule their vacations around, not during, big projects so they can feel less distracted while away.

Third, Haefner recommends that people make every effort to reduce their irreplaceability by training coworkers to help complete their tasks while away, and reciprocating when its the co-workers turn to get away.

Fourth, employees should always leave the contact information of the next-in-charge on their outgoing voicemail messages to avoid inbox overload when they return.

Finally, Haefner implores workers to set limits on works intrusion into break time, checking in once or twice a week only, setting these boundaries with your place of employment before you disembark.

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on IT management from CIOInsight.com.

Rocket Fuel