Tech-Free Vacation: Why Unplugging Isn't Practical - InformationWeek

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Tech-Free Vacation: Why Unplugging Isn't Practical
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SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
12/27/2014 | 1:59:39 PM
Re: Tech-Free Vacation: Why Unplugging Isn't Practical
@Ariella: Since you say staying in a job 24/7 isn't possible, still I have seen people stressed out from late night calls for attending the premises. There should be a healthy work life balance and if night shift isn't possible, outsource this work to a part of the world that is having daylight.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
12/24/2014 | 9:44:43 AM
Re: Tech-Free Vacation: Why Unplugging Isn't Practical
@freespiritny25 Not every emergency can wait, though. If an investment bank's systems go down, any delay can costs millions, even billions. And for hospital systems, there can be major consequences, as having to work around a malfunctioning system slows down communication and setups. In a life and death situation, that kind of delay can have devastating conseuqneces. But as one person really cannot be on call 24/7/52 (I hate the logical leap of 7 to 365) there has to be someone else one can call if the person is off, just like doctors get somoene to cover for them.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
12/24/2014 | 9:35:26 AM
Re: Tech benfits of being plugged in
I've learned that often being half-way plugged in while on vacation can be more disruptive than completely disconnected. People in full-speed problem-solving mode shouldn't have to wait around for my opinion rendered during breaks in my vacation activities.
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
12/23/2014 | 4:56:49 PM
Tech benfits of being plugged in

I do try to disconnect on vacation unless there is the true emergency. I still drop into email and read messages though I may not respond if I have an out of office message on. Reading through my emails help eliminate the advance when I return and helps me understand what needs my attention. I agree that technology is not an albatross for me, I like having my devices while I am away because they also offer great entertainment like movies, magazines, music and newspapers.

Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
12/23/2014 | 2:51:29 PM
Unplug time
I talked to a CIO this year who told me he got the call from the CEO that something was wrong with email on christmas eve. He took the call of course. His theory is if he is reachable, few bad things will happen. But I am not a CIO. Personally, I believe in unplugging and am lucky to work with a team that feels the same.
freespiritny25
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freespiritny25,
User Rank: Ninja
12/23/2014 | 2:33:48 PM
Re: Tech-Free Vacation: Why Unplugging Isn't Practical
I agree. It is difficult to unplug when you have so many obligations. Delegation is key and I tend to unplug early in the evening on vacation and do not turn on any devices until the next morning. Any "emergency" can wait until then.
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
12/23/2014 | 12:28:35 PM
Re: Leadership test
Great point, David. While I agree that C-level positions should not really ever expect to be "free" from the office (and tech) whenver they want, they should strive to be good leaders and build a team that will function in your absence. Sure, you can bust your tail and work 80 hrs a week, but the sad reality is that if you died today, the company will live on and in a couple of years, most won't even give your name a second thought (some won't even know who you are!). Don't give up your own life for a paycheck.

Best quote I ever heard "Near the end of their lives, lots of people say 'I wish I had more time with my family and friends' - no one ever says 'I wish I had spent more time at work/my desk.' "
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
12/23/2014 | 10:45:58 AM
Re: Tech-free vacation - is it really impractical?
I agree with you.  As much as most people say they "need" to be connected, for work or family emergency reasons, I would wager that most spend 95% of that connected time on Facebook, Twitter or <insert-silly-mobile-game-here>.  
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
12/23/2014 | 10:32:02 AM
Leadership test
Isn't part of leadership building a strong team that can function in your absence? Even in a crisis?

If you're indispensable, maybe you're doing something wrong.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
12/23/2014 | 10:30:02 AM
Re: Tech-free vacation - is it really impractical?
you make an excellent point that being connected greatly depends on the type of profesion a person hold and their family relationship.  For me, being disconnected helps me recharge for my work week. In such cases, I try to avoid the news and connectivity all together.  I took a trip to a developing country and it made things easy because in remote towns there isn't WiFi connectivity.
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