Avoiding the pressure to work on holiday

Tuesday, 16 August 2011, 13:03 | Category : General
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Writing on the FT and the BBC, Lucy Kellaway comments on her habit of working intermittently while on holiday:

“For most of this summer I’m on “worliday”. This is a new word I have just made up to describe something I’ve been doing for a few years, and now seems in need of a name. Worliday is a bit like holiday and a bit like work.”

According to Lucy, worlidays involve checking emails early in the morning before walks on the beach and, in the case of a journalist, quickly knocking together an article in the afternoon prior to the evening’s barbecue. Among the positive effects for her of working on holiday are that she has no surprises on her return to work, receives the required mental stimulation and avoids the mad rush trying to tie things up each time she goes away.

While this way of working clearly works for Lucy, I’d ask how healthy it is to never take an extended break from work, which is what she seems in principle to be advocating.

Leaving aside the health implications, many of The PR Network associates I’ve spoken to this summer have mentioned the pressure they feel to be constantly available to clients even when on holiday. And this is one area where The PR Network can provide much needed support to both our clients and our associates: for our clients, we have brought in additional personnel when associates have been away during key campaign phases; while for our associates we have put in place arrangements which mean they can enjoy their breaks without being chained to their Blackberries.

Personally, I think Lucy is talking absolute nonsense. I’ve seen both sides of the fence, having had both worlidays and complete breaks from work. I’ve come back far fresher with (IMHO) better ideas and a greater hunger for success whenever I’ve had the time to completely forget about work and immerse myself in the holiday experience. We’ll always do whatever we can to ensure our associates can enjoy the same benefits while continuing to deliver high quality service to our clients.

Marc Sparrow

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