Economy, Technology Bring Work to Vacations

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Sep. 3, 2012 12:00 am  

Who has time for vacations these days, anyway? Actually, plenty do - but they're taking work with them, and both technology and the economy are responsible

"Now everybody's got iPads, iPhones or ‘Droids," he said. "More and more clients, where they used to pick up the phone and call, now text or email, and the old ‘Sorry, I'm out of the office' doesn't work."

That hyper-connectivity extends to vacations, Hamlin said, and attorneys are expected to keep up with their workloads.

"If you want to go on a vacation for a week or two weeks, you can, but you have to make sure your clients are covered and satisfied," he said.

Hamlin himself said he tends to stay connected while away.

"One of my trips in Asia, I was literally 12 hours ahead of the local time here, but every day, in the morning, I'd put aside 30 or 40 minutes to catch up on emails," he said.

Recession's Effects

Brandy Johnson, human resources manager at Little Rock's Arkansas Lighthouse for the Blind, said she had actually seen an increase in employees taking vacations. They're still on call, though.

"Especially in leadership positions, if you go on vacations, you are expected to respond to emails and check your iPhone, do all those types of things," she said. "It's not necessarily a spoken rule that you have to do that, but it's kind of known."

She said that in her workplace, employees are thinking about advancement. They want to shine in front of the leadership, she said, and that often means being available even in off hours.

"To be at the top of your game in the workplace, these things are almost necessary," she said.

Johnson noted that the phenomenon involved more than just the prevalence of technology; it's also a matter of the lingering effects of the recession.

"Companies are leaner and leaner and leaner," she said. "In most workplaces, you are expected to continue your workload. No one else is there to take your calls while you're gone."



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