Career, Family, Finding balance

Checking your work emails on family vacation

To check my email or not to check my email on my upcoming family vacation; that is the question (I’m sure that Shakespeare would agree if he were alive today).

For the past several years I have taken a very firm stance on this. I put up my out of office message, I tell my team that they can call me or text me in an emergency and I turn off my work email account on my iPhone and iPad because I don’t trust myself to ignore the email notifications. I have always reminded myself that a) this is family time and b) I am not important enough that I need to be reachable while I’m on vacation.

But this year is a little different. We are scheduled to go on a week-long family vacation soon and I have four time-sensitive projects that I am working on in collaboration with a number of other people. I am concerned that something might stall while I am gone.

I recently posed a real-life scenario on Facebook: “Your phone rings at the end of the day. Do you, a) answer it and make huge progress on an urgent project knowing that you will get your child to practice late or b) let it go to voicemail to get your child to practice on time?” The responses were unanimous – you answer the phone. But what about when it comes to being on vacation?

What do you do when you go on a family vacation? What would you do in my shoes?



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