Columnist image
Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


Sun, sand -- and your iPhone?

Electronic devices have become increasingly popular. Many have traded in a cubicle for the their local coffee shop. But what happens when these electronic devices are utilized to make your life more manageable start to infringe on your downtime? The ability to be wired 24/7 is showing up in exhaustion, and in some cases, burnout. Career experts say the time that hyerconnectivity has the greatest potential to do damage on traditional work/life balance is when you go on vacation.

Vacations are meant to be the ultimate reset button, allowing you to pull out of the rat race for a while so you can recharge. Medical and health professionals will tell you those that unplug come back to work, relaxed, happy and feeling refreshed and in some cases ready to take on – more work! But before you brave the tech-free vacation, let your friends, family, colleagues and your boss know you are checking out. You are doing this for your health.

We all probably know the benefits to unplugging – better sleep, better concentration, less irritability, improved health, increased productivity and the list goes on. But none of this matters if the boss doesn’t support your vacation time.

How can the boss foster a tech break and mean business when it comes to taking a well-deserved break? According to Entrepreneur, here are a few steps to convince the workaholic in you to back off: Employers should not let employees have access to email on vacation, they should introduce mandatory vacation time, lead by example, consider company-wide vacation down time, ensure the employees work is covered off and maybe even provide an incentive for those who truly unplug. At the very least, it would be nice if they wish you a nice vacation and off you go.

This all sounds very nice, and I’m actually going to try and walk the talk. I leave for a two-week vacation on Thursday and I’m going to see if I can successfully unplug (but I probably won't). There are no guarantees, but what I do know is that it is up to me to put me first.