Have you left your desk yet?
By Robyn Greenspan
Monday, 10th September 2007
92 percent of executives check their email while on vacation.

I'm currently on a cruise to Alaska, the first big vacation I have taken in a couple of years.

Like 45 percent of Americans, I don't take all my earned time-off. It's not that I don't want it — or deserve it — but it just seems easier to show up for a job I like every day than worrying about piled up work, a flooded inbox, and preparing weeks ahead for deadline projects.

An August article in the New York Times Magazine says that we remain tethered to our desks and out of the sunshine because we're competing for our own jobs; addicted to the work; can't afford vacations; or not interested in family time. And other research says that 39 percent of us are too tired and one-third of workers are saving their vacation time for emergencies.

I would propose another theory: air travel has become too complicated to enjoy. Executives who fly around the country — or the world — for business travel are keenly aware of the problems that can occur and are hesitant to subject their families to the rigors of security lines, flight delays, luggage that might not get to its destination, and the possible confiscation of toiletries that exceed the 3 oz. weight limit. Vacations are no longer fun when packing feels like a project and airport excursions are fraught with aggravation.

But even when we overcome the barriers and leave the office behind, we still can't relax. ExecuNet found that 92 percent of executives check their email while on vacation (you know who you are). And while you are reading this, I am probably struggling to remain in that oblivious — and hopefully, more relaxed — 8 percent.

Robyn Greenspan
Senior Editor
295 Westport Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851

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