A practice once associated only with obsessive, workaholic-types is now widely accepted and more commonplace than ever. Americans are almost evenly split on whether it's okay to check your work e-mail even while on vacation. A new survey from Fox News found 46% don't check e-mail while on vacation, down from 59% in 2005. Meantime, 42% of respondents do believe in keeping up with e-mail even while on vacation, including 24% who check in every day even when they're out of the office. The poll also found that people under 35 are the ones more likely to check e-mail while on vacation.
Author, speaker and success expert Laura Vanderkam says there is nothing wrong with checking your inbox while on vacation, as long as it's done in moderation. "Checking once a day is usually enough to keep everything on track," she tells KTRH. "I get up in the morning on vacation before the rest of my family is up, I take a quick look at the inbox and the phone, make sure that nothing has exploded, respond to anything I need to, and them I'm off for the rest of the day." Vanderkam does not recommend logging on to your work e-mail more than once a day while on vacation. "If you check it compulsively every 15 minutes, you will never feel like you are relaxed," she says.
The key, according to Vanderkam, is to find balance between your work life and your outside-of-work life. "We make this false choice that vacations are a time of not wanting to have anything to do with work," she says. "But a lot of people kind of like their jobs, in which case there's nothing wrong with having a little bit of a check-in." Whether they like their jobs or not, some people feel the need to check in at work even if they're only off for a day or two. For short vacations or weekends, Vanderkam has the same advice: moderation. "If you do feel compelled to check, schedule a short window of time on the weekend to take a look at (e-mail)," she says. "And if you find yourself thinking about it at another time, just say there's a time to look and now is not that time, I'm gonna focus on the world around me."