More Employees Asking For ‘Workcations’

June 24, 2015  |  

In reality, the word “work” should never — ever — come anywhere near the word “vacation,” but since the recession hit very few employees actually leave their work behind when they take time off, and now the work force is trying to use that reality to their advantage with the dawn of workcations.

What’s a workvacation, you ask? According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s taking a trip to a laid-back locale — like the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico — and ruining your vacation by working remotely. Yes, there is growing number of workers who are actually petitioning to combine work and drinking Mai Tais on a Hawaiian beach.

Workers want the green light to “take conference calls or write project updates from a resort or rental home […] without having the time counted against their vacation days,” WSJ said.

WSJ zoomed in on Shirley Bloomfield, the chief executive of the The Rural Broadband Association, a non-profit for rural telecommunications companies, who spent a week at a beach house. She wanted to escape the madness from her Washington D.C. office, so she flew to Delaware with her husband, roasted marshmallows in the rental fireplace, and took long walks on the beach with her dog, Cassie.

While Bloomfield said she enjoyed the trip, “it wasn’t quite the Zen sense you would get from a real vacation.”

According to Deborah Good, who teaches human-resource management at the University of Pittsburgh, workcations are the “wave of the future,” but she says it might not be a good idea.

“There may be a backlash among employees if they feel they must work all the time and can’t ever have a real vacation,” Good said.

John de Graaf, president of Take Back Your Time, a group that calls for more vacation time for employees, agreed with Good:

“It’s not a good thing for employees who are vacationing to feel like they are always on an electronic leash,” he said.

Adrian Granzella Larssen, 32, would beg to differ. As editor in chief of The Muse, a career advice site, she has been taking workcations to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico for the past two years.

“She […] felt more productive in a tropical setting because she wasn’t being pulled into impromptu meetings,” WSJ said.

But, as Kenneth Matos, senior director of research at the Families and Work Institute, pondered: “Is the workcation detracting from the vacation you were going to have, or is it enabling the vacation you otherwise wouldn’t have had?”

We’re thinking it’s time employees lobbied for both.

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