IT Best Practices

Emailing While You’re on Vacation Damages Morale

Picture you’re enjoying yourself on a beach somewhere, or maybe off in the mountains, or maybe even going to a good friend’s wedding. You have the time away, but there’s an unshakable urge to check your emails for work. Who could it hurt to just send out an email or two to see how things are going? In an article for Harvard Business Review, Katie Denis explains why this can be quite harmful to a workplace culture.

Unplug and Unwind on Vacation

The key part of vacation is that it is time away from the keyboard and the daily grind of the workplace. Checking back in on your team while you have time off can eat away at any attempts of building a workplace culture because it sends the signal that there is no time truly off. It says that your team needs to be present all the time, and that conveys that you don’t think they’re valued enough to be given time off. It also says in big bold letters “You can’t do the job without me,” to people around you.

This approach to vacation time can seriously affect the likelihood that your employees will leave for a position that makes them feel more valued, since vacation time is the second-most valued benefit after health care. And it can affect how your company reacts to your vacation time as well:

The boss is the number one influencer over an employee’s time—even more than the employee’s own family. The power of that influence may not be clear to managers, just as the downstream consequences of staying connected to work on vacation may not be intended. But their connectedness on vacation is a predictor of their support for their employees’ vacation time. More than a third (35%) of managers who check in frequently on vacation say that pressure from the company prevents them from approving vacation requests, compared to just 20% of managers who check in occasionally, or 17% of those who unplug.

So moral of the story: When it’s vacation time, make sure to unplug.

For additional thoughts, you can view the original article here: https://hbr.org/2017/12/emailing-while-youre-on-vacation-is-a-quick-way-to-ruin-company-culture

Austin J. Gruver

Austin is a Staff Writer for AITS. He has a background in professional writing from York College.

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