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How many of you work while you are on vacation? Even if it’s for an hour a day? Does your “out of office” email reply mean nothing in your world or do you even put it on?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog about work/life balance and discussed the importance of taking a vacation. I admitted that I would be working while on mine. I think that most of you can relate.

I recently went on that vacation and worked –  not a lot, although my family may disagree with that.  However, responding to emails while sitting on the beach was nicer than doing it in my office.

But as I was writing that email, I saw that many of my fellow vacationers were doing the same thing.  I wondered how many of us would be able to take a trip without plugging in?

While I was at the Cape Cod property, I saw multiple men in the business center wearing their shorts, flip flops and laptop.  I stuck out like a sore thumb with a Vera Bradley laptop bag and bikini joining the crew of an attorney, a buyer and a food service manager. We were all making calls and typing away on our laptops. There we were, a bunch of professionals working with our bathing suits on. It really was an odd site. Some worked for an hour or two, while others had deadlines and worked much longer.

As I observed everyone, I thought to myself about how vacations have changed. When we went away with our parents, there were no cell phones or laptops. When they took a trip, they really did leave work at the office.

Vacations are supposed to be about taking time off –  from the housework, yard work, and your job.

But, is anyone really taking time off? What exactly does that mean? Maybe I can’t shut my brain down to relax. I am sure that many of you can relate.

Have we created our own monsters?  When we respond to an email, does it invite more emails for that co-worker or client. Are we going to burn ourselves out?

If we completely turn it off, will we stress out over vacation about what we are missing and have to do? Then we need a vacation from our vacation. Or, do we dedicate an hour or two a day to work and make it the “norm” and hope that your family supports you on it.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. What do you do? What has worked for you?