When vacations are really vacations

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Inspired from this Computerworld article on whether or not anyone in IT truly relaxes on vacation. It quotes a survey where 67% of senior IT professionals say they're expected to be available even when on vacation. As such these days, this is relevant to my interests.

Due to the loose relationship my office has with being in the office to do work, we frequently get people working full time from their Parent's house for a couple days. It's a way to make two weeks out of the office only seem like three days, and reduces the disruption because of it. Our customer-facing people follow the same habits as described in the article.

Yeah, when I'm going on vacation and I expect I'll be away from my phone for significant periods of time I am sure to mention this before I leave. I have gotten calls, urgent ones even, while on the vacation calendar. Sometimes I really am the only person who can rapidly fix a critical problem.

Not so helpful when I'm on, say, a cruise ship in the middle of the Atlantic.

Is this an expectation of availability like the article describes, or merely guilt-induced availability through office culture? In my case it's the latter; everyone is assumed to be available, unless explicitly declared otherwise. Being on the vacation calendar just means they'll allow more time between call and getting impatient with the reply.

In my defense, I figured out a while ago that the best way for me to feel like I've actually been on vacation is to actually check work email a few times while I'm out there. It stitches the radically different reality of vacation in with my normal work-a-day reality, so when I come back I don't get that "Arg, it's like I never left, I need a vacation" feeling.

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