Monday poll: Should you check your email on vacation?

Is it more relaxing to log off and let potentially urgent email pile up for your return or to interrupt your vacation to deal with issues as they arise?

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  • Anonymous

    This is largely a staffing issue. If you hire good people and trust them to hold down the fort, then there should be no reason to check email when you are gone. If you can’t relax without worrying about what might be in your inbox or voicemail, then you’ve got bigger issues than a wasted vacation. Might be time to reconsider your staffing choices.

  • Anon – I don’t think checking email on your vacation is about trust or lack of it, in fact it’s the reverse, it demonstrates support to the team, dedication to clients and responsiveness. If you opt to respond and input during your spare time, it’s because you want to. And in fact, at the the top level most people will do anyway – they’re just programed that way.
    Of course, I agree you don’t need to be involved though in every fiddling thing. I have often found that when a manager is out, their reports rise to the challenge and excel. Under mighty oaks, acorns do not grow and all that.
    I just thought I’d ask what others felt. Personally, I like to know what’s going on – doesn’t mean I’ll respond, but I’m contactable if required.

  • Hmm – sorry that sounds a bit narky. Not meant to be. I’m blaming jet lag. Think I totalled about two hours sleep last night.

  • Service businesses should have systems in place to enable executives to take leave, irrespective of their seniority. There is a very fine line between supporting staff by responding to email, phone calls and voice mail, and undermining them while on vacation.
    The critical issue is this though: if you propose that executives check email on vacation how do you suggest one balances the expectations of a partner and a young family, with that of agency staff and clients?

  • Hi Stephen – thanks for your comment – agree there needs to be a balance and support mechanisms to allow anyone to take time out. For continuity you don’t want a campaign to rely on one single member of the team, regardless of seniorty.
    I’m not sure that spending time with your family and checking your email to ensure your clients are satisfied are mutually exclusive. As an agency principal yourself, I’m sure you’re familiar with the need to provide a good work-life balance for staff (and your own sanity).
    Hope all is going well at Rainier.

  • Eleanor

    My general rule is that I check it if I’m in the UK on holiday and don’t if I’m abroad, especially if there’s a time difference. I know it’s a silly rule, but it works for me because generally foreign holidays are more valuable and longer and more relaxing! I always keep my mobile phone on though, when I’m awake.

  • Ha – sounds good Eleanor. At least your team can reach you if they need to. I think that’s important.