Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Working (on) holidays

We have just come home from a short family holiday. I am not sure if driving to a holiday destination makes it less holiday-like – or if it is a new media thing. My job as a parenting magazine editor means that ideally I need to check in regularly, keep things ticking over, but I don’t need to be in an office or work set hours. During our family holiday I updated news on the website almost daily, edited down a few articles and proofed the final draft of the Gold Coast magazine. Being able to do my job from almost anywhere means I can do my job when we are on holidays.

I didn’t completely relax into holiday mode, but still had a wonderful time. 

I used to leave everything behind when we went on holidays, including my health. I would drink too much, laze around too much and certainly try hard to not think about work. Of course at that time of my life I didn’t have children, worked for a very large multi-national and didn’t have a particularly good exercise regime (read: worked very long hours, drank copious amounts of coffee and very occasionally went to the gym). Now our holidays are very active. I usually try and run or swim before the kids get up, we spend the day hiking, swimming, climbing (and possibly a little sleeping in the afternoon if we can wear the kids out enough!). But I always have my phone with me and I regularly check my emails and do any work needed in between activities or in the evening when the kids have gone to bed. By having a job that gives me great flexibility when I am at home, I feel I need to be able to continue to offer that flexibility when I am away. For me, it is give and take.

But not actually taking a complete break from my work made me wonder what others do. Are we taking holidays differently now that we are able to “log in” in so many different ways? Even if we leave our laptop behind, we have smart phones and tablets (I proofed half of the magazine from my phone with my husband driving). Does this mean that we are not actually getting the break we need? Or are we actually finding ways to reduce our stress when we get back from holidays? And what does this mean for our relationships?

I have so many questions and no answers. What do you think?

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