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Summer's Here, Let the 'Workations' Begin

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First there was the "staycation," now it's the "workation." Americans, it seems, can't take a real vacation anymore.

The majority of Americans expect to stay connected to their office during their summer vacation, according to Regus, a company that provides office spaces, office furniture and communications tools.

How Americans will work while on vacation varies, but three-quarters say they will stay connected in some way.

Sixty-six percent of the 5,000 people surveyed said they will check and respond to email during their time off and 29 percent expect they may have to attend meetings virtually while on vacation. 

“Modern work pressures mean that more and more of us work during our vacations," said Guillermo Rotman, CEO of Regus. "The important thing is to minimize the inconvenience by working as efficiently as we can. Rather than struggle through three stressful and unproductive hours trying to work by the poolside, you could do the same amount of work more efficiently in a single hour at a business center, with free Wi-Fi, secure high-speed broadband and professional administrative support. You then have two hours free to relax properly.”

The phenomenon of working on vacation is an extension of Americans' larger issue of Americans struggling to achieve work-life balance, the survey found. Nearly six out of ten respondents (58 percent) say they take work home more than three times a week.

The best way to blend your vacation and work time is to set a few rules, and stick with them:

  • If colleagues need to update or consult you, ask them to send a single daily report by email, at a set time each day. That way, they won’t overwhelm you with hour-by-hour questions and progress updates.
  • Change your smartphone settingsso you have to actively check your emails, rather than have them arriving all day long.
  • Decide that you’ll work for a set period each day, at a set time. Don’t work outside these times.
  • If you’re going to work, make sure you have a proper setting. Instead of struggling with unreliable Wi-Fi or phone signals, find somewhere professional to work —for example, a local business center. That way, you’ll wrap up your work quicker.


Jeanette Mulvey

Jeanette has been writing about business for more than 20 years. She has written about every kind of entrepreneur from hardware store owners to fashion designers. Previously she was a manager of internal communications for Home Depot. Her journalism career began in local newspapers. She has a degree in American Studies from Rutgers University. Follow her on Twitter @jeanettebnd.