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Last month I spent two weeks in Italy and the Tuscany region. That meant I would be away from the office and not be connected to my technology based consulting practice and my clients. Needless to say I was quite a bit nervous about this, not because I didn’t have an excellent team backing me up at the office, but the expectations of many today are that you are on “the grid” 24/7. The reality of the situation is that while in Italy my current iPhone service provider (ATT) would have had outrageous charges and roaming charges for 3G data services while outside the US. As a result, I turned off the 3G data service and just went with international phone service.
I felt guilty, nervous, and edgy the first few days of my vacation, but I soon settled in to not being connected and I think it was great for my psyche and outlook when I returned to the office. Because we are connected 24/7 for the most part here in the US, I think we put tremendous time pressures and constraints on ourselves which can lead to all kinds of other challenges and management issues.
I noted in a recent survey by Robert Half which indicated that of over 1,400 CFOs surveyed; a whopping 69% said that they check in with work at least twice a week while on vacation. And 33% said that they check in at least once a day and sometimes more. Wow! So much for your vacation, if you are never on vacation.
In the article on the survey I noted one person’s approach which was to stay in touch, but setting some limits on how and when you responded. I like that approach, one that works well with wine, pasta and your iPhone.