In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

Why Vacation Emails and 'Workcations' Harm Company Culture

When employees go on vacation, there is often a sense that checking in is required. This is especially true for salaried employees who will find their workload stagnating and stinking upon their return. However, if it becomes part of the company culture that unplugging during vacation is unexpected, it shouldn't be a surprise when a high turnover rate becomes the status quo.

Surprisingly, it's not just employees who often feel pressured into working on vacation, but managers do too, and are often the ones setting the bad precedent. And unfortunately, when a manager plugs in while on vacation, quite a bit of damage can be done to a team's morale as well as the company culture.

"Workcation" v. Vacation

When the boss doesn't unplug during vacation, it sends a few clear signals to subordinates:

  1. If the boss works while on vacation, so should you.
  2. The boss is checking in because they don't trust you to handle things.
  3. The boss failed to assemble a competent team.

These signals are damaging to employee morale and the overall company culture. While a handful of people actually enjoy their work, the vast majority of people are suffering through the day in order to make some money (aka working for the weekend). And if you thought Loverboy was as wrong then as they are now, then you need to reassess how you're spending weekends. Project Time Off has objectively found that vacation time is the second most important benefit to employees. A company culture that expects employees to work on vacation is one that doesn't value its employees' time and compensation. After all, vacation is a form of compensation.

Working Poolside Is Still Working

It should be noted that a "workcation" is not a vacation at all. It is simply working remotely, which is a fantastic perk, but not nearly as fantastic as a real vacation.

Unfortunately, unless you're in a position to change the company culture, this may be a problem that you can't solve. Though you may feel compelled to not work during your actual vacation, if it's expected, you could face consequences for not doing so.

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