Lea Green, who telecommutes regularly, is content director, strategy and communications, for Premiere Global Services Inc. PGi has been a global leader in virtual meetings for more than 20 years. PGi’s cloud-based solutions deliver multi-point, real-time virtual collaboration using video, voice and file sharing technologies. Lea.Green@pgi.com, www.pgi.com
Finding time for a vacation in this era of ultimate connectivity can be a challenge — we are surrounded and incessantly summoned by smartphones, laptops and tablets. In many ways, the proliferation of integrated technology has made the lives of corporate meeting planners easier and more convenient, as we now have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. This freedom, though, is not without its price. For some, technology carries the burden that they are always connected and reachable, regardless of where they are and what time it is.
Meeting and conference planning has many moving parts. Major shifts can occur at any moment — including inopportune ones — and require quick thinking and action, even while away from the office. The pace of conducting business is faster than ever, thanks to our 24/7 connectivity. In fact, according to a 2011 study by Regus, more than 75 percent of Americans say they stay connected to the office while on vacation, and more than 66 percent regularly check email while they’re away. As a result, many vacations are transformed into a hybrid work-cation.
Regardless of the industry, it can be difficult to navigate between the responsibilities to your employer and the much-needed respite from these responsibilities. The challenge of striking a work-life balance is universal among knowledge workers; however, by asking a few questions and planning in advance, you can manage the inevitable work-related requests that will occur while you are on vacation.
Although working on vacation is becoming an increasingly common practice in today’s connected world, we all, eventually, need a break from the daily grind. The first question you should ask yourself before considering a work-cation is whether it is absolutely necessary to work while away from the office. A few more follow-up questions can help to determine if you actually need to boot up from the beach:
• Do you absolutely need to work while on vacation? Or can you delegate your responsibilities temporarily?
• How much work will you actually get done while working on vacation? (Remember to be realistic.)
• How will working affect your vacation time?
• How will working affect the other people on vacation with you? Finding a true balance between work and relaxation while on vacation is critical if you hope to enjoy your time off. Don’t be afraid to trust your coworkers and hand someone else the reins in your absence, assuming they have the know-how to complete the assignments while you’re away.