Skip to main content

Managers Are the Most Likely To Go On Vacation

Ah, that was...fun?

The family and I took a short vacation that wasn't a short staycation. Yes, we actually went somewhere this time in a quest to show our children that there's a lot more Virginia past the Ikea at Potomac Mills. You locals know what I mean. Anyway, they had a blast touring Bob McDonnell territory, which does very well on election night until Northern Virginia bothers to show up. It was an on-the-cheap, you-can-do-this-or-that-but-not-both economy vacation for sure, but the kids had a blast, which is what counts.

But now their exhausted parents need a post-vacation vacation to recover from the actual vacation because traveling with young children isn't really much of a vacation. You parents know what I mean. And I find blogging to be very relaxing, so let's get back to our regularly-scheduled bloggramming.

Let's talk about employee vacation trends! Man, did I see a lot of people "on vacation" but obliviously working on their iPads while their kids were in the pool yelling, "look at me, look at me!" It's right on trend with a recent TeamViewer/Harris Interactive survey that says 52% of U.S. workers will be working on vacation this summer. Or were the vacationeers around me scrolling through Chapter 7 of 50 Shades Of Gray? Who knows, but I did see a lot of perimenopausal women reading it unabashedly in paperback by the pool.

Of course, they're the ones who dared the get away from it all, because CareerBuilder tells us that only 65% of U.S. employees will take a vacation this year, a 15% drop since the comparatively heady workdays of 2007. Many employees are afraid of losing their jobs, but roughly one-fifth (19%) told CareerBuilder that they can't afford to go on vacation anymore. It's simply gotten too expensive. They'll just watch the endless loop of Sandals commercials, thank you very much. Time of my life, indeed -- especially if you work for Research In Motion.

So who is going on vacation right now? The boss. That's right, people: the boss is the most likely employee to go on vacation this summer.

My advice to managers? Keep your vacations relatively short and never, ever brag about them unless you want employee morale to sink to Motel 6 levels. Seriously, your vacation-less employees who are trying to take a totally impossible vacation at the office don't want to be slaving away while receiving multiple emails a day from your optics-challenged self that read something like this:

Sure enjoying the sights around St. Johns -- such great restaurants, gorgeous weather, and the beaches are so beautiful this time of year! Not sure we can see everything this place has to offer in a ten-day time frame! Sitting here on the beach reminds me of our vacation here last Christmas, only better! P.S.: Is that report done yet? I'm going to need a draft by 4 p.m. today. Thx.

Grrr. Just, no. Don't go there in this economy, because all you're doing is rubbing it in, sort of like Mitt Romney steering one of his expensive power boats past one of his many vacation homes. It's the grown-up version of "look at me, look at me!" only without the handstand in the pool.

The problem is, employees are looking up from their iPads to take note of the boss's poolside adventures. If you're a boss in this economy, then you might as well go ahead and cut employees a little bit of slack if you're giving yourself permission to have some. Maybe that 4 p.m. draft deadline can wait one more day, or until you get back (hint, hint)? Not everything can wait, but a few things can. Sure, you're having the time of your life, but it feels like we're still in recession time and you don't want to look like you're having the best of times in the worst of times, if you know what I mean. Pondering how you can lighten up a little bit while you're gone might help employee morale stay at La Quinta levels. I'm not sure what that means, either. It's time to do the laundry, if you know what I mean.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Seven tips for dealing with a jealous coworker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-an…

Employees Blame Technology For Slowing Them Down At Work

Do you feel like you're always working, but never getting very much done? If so, you're not alone. Too much technology, and too much red tape, keep slowing us down at work. But technology, and more of it, is supposed to make our lives easier! Too much technology, however, does not compute for employees. A new SAP/Knowledge@Wharton survey of almost 700 corporate employees finds a full 60% of respondents blame technology "for inhibiting their ability to meet strategic goals." Gee, anyone who has ever used the self-checkout line at the grocery store can tell you that. However, 40% surveyed said that looking for ways to simplify the technology has been "a low priority" for their company. Too much paperwork is an on-going problem for the workplace, too. A new ServiceNow survey of nearly 1,000 managers finds that 90% are doing too much administrative work, no matter the size of the company. This paperwork includes filling out forms, writing status updates, …

Is Your Co-worker Always Late For Work?

You've started the workday, but where is your co-worker? Oh, she's running late again, just like yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Let's get an early start on solving her tardiness problem, shall we? Working with someone who is consistently late is one of the most annoying aspects of office life, and also one of the most common, unfortunately. It's a universal theme of the workplace that everyone will get to work on time (give or take a few minutes...) except for the employee who is egregiously late nearly every day. And the excuses can get pretty amazing. Employees became more punctual as the Great Recession lingered, at least according to surveys. Everyone, that is, except for your able-bodied but habitually-tardy co-worker. It's bad enough dealing with tardiness when you're a manager, but it can be even more frustrating when you're a rank-and-file peer without any magical "shape up or ship out" managerial powers. So you…