Jordan Benedet is a Manager on the Client Strategy and Innovation team at Social Media Group. Follow @jbenedet.
As a lot of my previous posts have illustrated, I really like technology and gadgets. I’ve had some kind of Smartphone since I graduated school and began my career many years ago, giving me the ability to stay in touch, and up to date on both personal and professional issues. I liked how it made my life easier in so many ways. Fast forward a few years, and Smartphone adoption has happened faster than any other major technology shift in history!
These days almost everyone has a smart device and thus the ability to leave the office without the fear of missing that important email. On the other hand, always being connected means that your work can follow you even after you leave the office. Always being connected means that information overload can occur, causing a person simply burn out.
This is where unplugging comes in. Over the last five years, I have not really taken a formal vacation where I completely unplugged from work. I recently got married, and thanks to Social Media Groups’ unlimited vacation policy I was able to disconnect for over two weeks and have a fantastic honeymoon in Europe. This hiatus meant I didn’t touch any email, and rarely ever logged into any social media site – I was as far off the grid as I have ever been, and it felt surprisingly great (I still did reach for my phantom Smartphone for the first few days though).
Disconnecting is becoming common among all level of workers, even Executives! Many employers are starting to recognize the benefits of allowing employees to unwind without having to feel like they are still tethered to the office.
The Huffington Post reported last month that FullContact, is now offering to pay employees $7,500 per year to go on a vacation, that’s on top of their normal salary. There are only three rules for this offer; you have to go on vacation, you must disconnect, and you can’t work in anyway while on vacation. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal!
Overall, I think some of the most important reasons to unplug on vacation are:
1. Gives a person the chance to spend more quality time with the people they are with
2. Provides a much more relaxed experience and improves mental health
3. Allows a person to avoid burning out, and a chance to recharge the batteries
As the line between work and personal time becomes increasingly blurred, I think it is very important for everyone to achieve a proper and sustainable work balance.