Tuesday, September 11, 2007

To E-mail or Not To E-mail

As the summer vacation season comes to a close, I've decided to pose a question to my blogging audience.....

"While on vacation, do you check e-mail or not?...if so, do you do that freely or are you compelled to do so because of your job?"

I took my vacation in August and was gone just a week from work. I am very tethered to my work e-mail as I can log in from home 24 hours a day just as if I'm sitting in my office. But, when I go on vacation, I just don't want to keep my computer as an appendage. When I returned to work from my vaction, I had over 300 e-mails to sort through, not to mention the ones that were automatically sorted for me, thanks to the Outlook Rules I have set. Granted, some of those 300 e-mails weren't important or easily deleted, but the mere fact that I had to go through them was time-consuming. Then, add to that my personal e-mail accounts I had to check and I'd guess I sorted through 500 or more messages by the time I finished. In fact, I had an e-mail request from a friend on LinkedIn that I just found yesterday that was overlooked in my shuffling of vacation e-mail.

I've polled some of my co-workers and it's a mixed bag of responses. Some prefer to take 15 minutes a day while on vacation to check e-mail, put out fires, and have peace of mind. Others prefer not to touch it at all and just enjoy their time away (that would be me). Still others have mobile devices that make it easy for them to check e-mail while on the go. And, there are a few who end up in locations where internet access is difficult to obtain. Although, one of my co-workers went to Fiji and was able to check e-mail at least once a day. There is just something non-relaxing about that, I think.

So, what do you do? And is what you do what you prefer or just a compulsory task brought on by the never-ending flow of information that trickles down our computer screen?



Sandy said...

I don't check it when I am off!
A vacation should be just that. Maybe check the personal one, but never work!

Kyle Barrett said...

I check it...regardless. I don't obsess but I do check. No phone calls. Email only. And never when I could be doing something with the family.

john mark said...

I'm a bad emailer number one. On the other hand, I'm not a big fan of work in general. So when I'm on vacation, that means no work. Make sure you divide the statement by the fact that I'm currently unemployed. I may not be very useful in this conversation.

Stephanie said...

Because of my teaching schedule, I have four months off in the summer. I check my email a couple times a week or else I have hundreds and hundreds of emails waiting for me when I return to school. Definitely not how I want to start off the school year :)