How to actually disconnect from work while on vacation


She was on vacation, pregnant and standing on top of a 10-foot-tall rock trying to get enough cell signal to have a conversation about an issue at the office.

“It was an emergency,” something no one else could handle, says Catherine Burns, artistic director of NYC storytelling nonprofit the Moth.

That was nearly 10 years ago. The Brooklynite was on her way to catch a ferry to Deer Isle in Maine, where she had planned to be off the grid, focusing on family.

But for Burns and many others, work has a way of imposing itself on vacations, sometimes before trips even start, and other times because we leave room for interruptions to come in.

While most people say they would like to completely disconnect from their jobs during their vacations, according to research from LinkedIn, 70 percent of professionals admit that they don’t fully break away. A survey by Captivate’s Office Pulse indicates that a majority think it’s so impossible they don’t even intend to try.

With the start of summer, almost half of respondents said that they will monitor e-mails, 28 percent will respond to texts during work hours, 15 percent intend to check voicemail and 13 percent even specified that they’ll take phone calls. Not only that, but 16 percent predict that they will spend 30 minutes a day working while on vacation, and just over 1 in 10 are willing to make that an hour a day.

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