Monday, May 5, 2014
Money Monday: Are Vacations a Necessity?
For the modern professional, there is a question that we must ask ourselves on a daily basis.
Where does work end, and personal life begin?
20 years ago, the dividing line was pretty clear. The office and all the work were there, in the office. If an employee chose to arrive early, stay late, work through lunch, or bring work home, it was their choice. As soon as they put their work away, they were done for the day or night. Maybe not mentally, but the line between work and home was much more defined.
Today, that is not the case. For many of us, we operate so much of our work through our cell phones, and those phones are never far from our reach. The last thing I look at before I go to bed is my email. The first thing I do in the morning is check my email.
Thanks to technology, I can do 90% of all my work from my phone if I needed to. If I can't do it from my phone, then I can whip out my laptop, log in remotely, and handle any and everything off site.
Again, this begs the question...Where does work end?
I don't know anyone who only works 40 hours. I don't know anyone who won't pick up their phone and shoot emails for work during dinner. I don't know anyone who can't log onto their work computer from a bar and make things happen at 11:00PM at night.
For us millennial's, the recession hit us hard, and has made many of us even harder workers than before. Those memories of the hard times are just beneath the surface. Our response is to work harder, work faster, and work all the time.
Given that we have now become overworked, overwhelmed, and over digitized, for us, it seems like we have no choice but to take vacations. Take time to get away from the office, to turn off our phones, iPads, and laptops, and try to decompress, even for a few days.
I don't know that vacations are a luxury that my generation can live without anymore. We are so glued in, tuned in, and always "on" that it almost seems like vacations need to be mandatory.
We need that "off switch." We need to not answer or look at emails for a few days. We need to be disconnected for a time. A time to recharge our internal batteries.
Whether we go to the beach, the mountains, or the lake, I know more and more people my age, who have to do more than just get away from the office, they have to get out of town in order to recharge themselves. They have to turn off the phone and disable email.
And, I know a lot of people who feel guilty of doing so.
But, in the end we have to. We can't keep working ourselves into the ground, doing more with less, and putting everything we have into our work.
What to do you think? Are vacations still a luxury or are they a necessity now?