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Employees Urged to Actually Break Away during Vacation

Younger Americans say they tend to check work email often while on vacation. (Sierra Neely)
Younger Americans say they tend to check work email often while on vacation. (Sierra Neely)
May 30, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and that means many people are planning or already taking vacations. Some advice: Turn off the electronics and leave work behind.

A new survey from Accountemps finds 54 percent of workers said they typically check in with the office at least once or twice a week during their vacation. That's up from 41 percent just a year ago.

Accountemps executive director, Michael Steinitz, says the idea of a vacation is to come back recharged and refreshed - which is hard to do if you're constantly worrying about work.

"Everyone has their smartphone and is always glued to it, and I think it's really important that people do their best to break away from it," he says. "And if you feel the need that you've got to check in, certainly try to set some sort of boundaries so that you don't get completely carried away with it."

More than one-third of professionals (37 percent) said they could use more time to recharge. Nearly half of the women who participated in the survey said they need a vacation, compared with about 30 percent of men.

Steinitz says most employers recognize people need a mental break from the job, and thinks they should adhere to that as well.

"If you're on vacation as a boss, and you're constantly checking in and being on top of people, then when you're employees go out, they're going to feel guilty if they don't do the same," he explains. "So you need to set the really appropriate example."

Younger employees tend to check in more often than their older counterparts. Sixty percent of workers 55 and older don't connect with the office at all during their break, compared with about half of employees ages 35 to 54.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IL