It’s that time of year again when anyone with school age kids tend to be away on holiday – yes the weather is hot at this time of year, but the holiday industry makes sure that it gets its ‘pound of flesh’ from parents!
Any way, it is also at this point of the year that the thought crosses my mind ‘is it really worth going away’ – by that I mean being away from the office for two whole weeks! My experience is that the odd week away is fine – 5 working days is not enough even in this day and age for a huge back log or crisis to build in the office. But, add another week and the dynamics change.
The reason for this post however is to consider the checking of work email by the use of blackberries or iPhones while away to ‘keep in touch’ with the office. A few years ago this might have been frowned upon, but with the growth in smartphones everyone is getting used to instant access. And for a number of weeks before going away there is the ‘trying to clear your desk’ routine, weekends become a blur of work, but by the time you go away you hope everything is up to date – so why not keep an eye on things to keep it that way?
I always check my email while away (very popular with my wife) as I do find a few minutes replying to emails can greatly reduce the stress on return – it also reduces any additional load on my colleagues while I am away. I also have a client who has the uncanny ability to ring or email me with a job while I am away, I may not have spoken to him in months, but he manages to hit a period when I am away – quite an amazing talent!
I know people who will not look at email while away – I really couldn’t do that, it wouldn’t allow me to relax. And how many people update Facebook or Twitter while on holiday (or blog) – surely doing a little bit of work is no different in real terms?