Do you have trouble disconnecting when you go on vacation? You're not alone. A new study from Accountemps, a California-based staffing firm, says an increasing amount of professional workers are going on vacation but staying connected with work.
According to the study, nearly 70 percent of survey respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 will maintain some contact with work, compared to only 59 percent of those people aged 55 and older. Professionals in Los Angeles, New York and Miami are far more likely to check in, while those in Cleveland and Minneapolis check in the least. Nine percent of workers in Los Angeles say they don't plan on taking any vacation time this year at all.
Accountemps District President Bill Driscoll says younger generations are especially guilty of not unplugging while away from the office.
"The baby boomers tend to be checking in the least. We think there might be kind of a technology connection there in terms of millennials are constantly glued to their phones and may be more prone to see work emails pop up," Driscoll said.
That's also translated into people taking fewer days off. The survey showed that workers plan on taking an average of nine days off this summer, down from 10 in 2017.
The study was conducted by an independent research firm and included responses from more than 2,800 workers across 28 U.S. markets.
Driscoll says Baby Boomers are used to leaving work at the office.
"Baby boomers may remember a day when you could actually totally disconnect from work, and prefer to do that," said Driscoll.
Some employees say they just don't have peace of mind unless they check in with the office while they're away from work.
If you're looking to get out of the office this summer and don't want the office following you, experts say preparation is key.
“Employees need time away from work to rest, relax and recharge. Yet for an increasing number of people, totally disconnecting from the office can have the reverse effect and add stress,” Michael Steinitz, executive director for Accountemps, said in a news release.
Planning ahead and letting your colleagues know you'll be unavailable is a great way to keep the stress at the office. Making a list of everything that needs to be handled and issue that could arise in your absence can go a long way in preventing random emails popping up on your phone.
Asking for help from your colleagues is also encouraged. People know that if you have their back, you'll be able to take care of their issues when they take time away from the office. Managers who have heavy workloads may even want to consider bringing in temporary staffing and designating specific check-in times if the demands of the job are too great to step away entirely.
"The good news is technology allows us to work from anywhere. The bad news is, technology allows us to work from anywhere and you really need to be disciplined and proactively force yourself to disconnect," said Driscoll.