Wednesday, July 7, 2010

All Work And No Play....

Makes us very dull people. This is a fact.

I read a great post last week about vacation time on Firm Voice, a PR blog, and the fact that Americans need a holiday.

A recent national survey commissioned by Mondial Assistance, revealed that;

four in ten (39 percent) Americans haven't had a vacation - defined as leisure travel of a least a week to a destination at least 100 miles from home - in the last two years, up from 33 percent who said the same last year. An additional 17 percent of Americans haven't taken a vacation in over a year, meaning 56 percent of Americans haven't taken a vacation recently (39 percent more than two years and 17 percent more than a year).

Tragic, huh?

While I do agree that sneaking off for a "breather" in times of crisis a la Tony Hayward is a really bad move (then again, show me any good Hayward move), I think the guilt factor and perpetual having to be "on" is working against the American workforce.

Personally, I work anywhere from 50 to 80 hrs a week.. It's not ideal, but as a PR agency owner, I have to do what I have to do. When it comes to down time, however, I feel no guilt. Of course, the blackberry and laptop are my travel buddies, yet sometimes I won't respond to emails until a few days later - shock, horror, gasp!!! But these mobility tools allow me the luxury of time away, without worrying about not being connected to the office, or I need to deal with an urgent client matter.

I (try) to take 2-3 one week breaks throughout the year as this length is managable, pre, during and post holiday.

And you know what?

I come back recharged, reinvigorated and creatively pumped to keep going until the next break. And usually a good 15 lbs heavier, but I digress....

No person should feel obligated to spend every breathing moment in the office for fear of not putting in enough face time or losing their job.

That type of workforce is a thing of the past; the one that confuses activity with acheivement. An inefficient worker is an inefficient worker no matter how much face time they put in.

We have been empoeered with tools that allow us to work anywhere and everywhere.

For the sake of innovation, creativity and a healthier, more sane workforce...


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