Can you take a break from your (working) vacation?

Thanks to mobile computing, the job follows some people everywhere

The upside of mobile computing is that you can work anywhere, anytime. The downside is that you can work anywhere, anytime.

That's true for many people, anyway. While some may be able to truly unplug and disconnect during their recreational time, a lot of people develop 24/7 work habits and can't shake them even on a vacation. CFO magazine, for example, cited a recent survey by Robert Half Management Resources of 1,400 chief financial officers, which found that 69 percent of them check in with work at least twice a week while on vacation, and 33 percent check in at least once a day.

Is it really a vacation if you’re just teleworking from an unfamiliar location?

Of course, for some people, working in the off hours is a choice. The New York Times has a story about the New York Nightowls, a group of entrepreneurs, software developers and freelancers that meets every Tuesday at 10 p.m. to work on whatever they want to work on, staying at it as late as 4 a.m. For those folks, part of the appeal is the productivity that comes without the distractions of the usual work environment. For them, it's a sort of vacation, and the idea is catching on in other cities.

This makes us wonder how our readers, tech savvy as they are, handle their own time “away.” Do you find yourself checking in with the office, or with colleagues on work matters? Do you manage to unplug? And if you do work on vacation, is it by choice or because of the demands from the corner office? Do you like to work an unusual schedule, coming in at dawn or working until midnight to avoid the rush and crush of the middday hustle?

We recently asked people to try unplugging for the Fourth of July, but that was only one day. How do you manage a week or two? It is possible – I just spent a week without Internet access of any kind, and although I wouldn’t necessarily want to live that way all the time, for a week, it was dandy.

Let us know your experiences in the comments section below.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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