The Vacation Dilemma

Summer is looming, and with it thoughts of summer vacation. Yet as U.S.News & World Report points out, workers in the United States are lousy at taking vacations. And the last time we checked with our readers, the consensus was that web workers are even worse. It can come as a shock to American readers to realize that in some parts of the world three to five weeks of vacation are required by government or corporate policy.

It all comes down to work/life balance, one of our favorite topics here at WWD. The traditional argument is that a month-long vacation leaves you relaxed and refreshed, ready to approach work with new vigor and new ideas. Some people argue that web workers get this without a formal vacation: we can just grab the laptop and a plane ticket, and tomorrow be in a coffee shop in Paris or Peru, still doing our jobs and soaking up the benefits of a new culture in our off hours.

And yet, how many of us ever schlep the laptop any further than the nearest coffeeshop, where we stake out the same table we had yesterday and the day before that? There can be a difference between having a freedom and using it. If your email will give you a few minutes off to think, this might be the year to consider whether a real vacation is in the cards.