Who Needs the Stress of a Holiday?

Opinion and Insight 91 Add to collection
Paul Williamson discusses the increasing presence of our work life into holiday time
Who Needs the Stress of a Holiday?

I remember as a kid the unadulterated excitement the promise of a holiday brought – especially an overseas one. Going to the airport, stuffing bags full of Johnnie Walker Red Label and Kinder Surprise, the billow of duty free fags on the plane – even though we always sat in the non-smoking part (seriously what was all that about?), the intense heat you felt the minute the doors opened and you stepped onto the air stairs. It was so glamorous, so exciting, so WOW!

Dad even used to wear a sports jacket to travel such was the kudos associated with overseas holidays.

And for two solid weeks, I had my dad’s almost undivided attention, the allure of the odd smouldering Mediterranean waitress, aside.

But in those days, we didn’t have email. We didn’t even have mobile phones. We had postcards that would generally arrive home three days after we did. Unless they were sent by the Scottish World Cup team, in which case they arrived home about three weeks after the team did.

How times have changed. Apart from the Scottish World Cup bit – that’s remained pretty constant.

Today, you spend the weeks in the lead up to your holiday working like a dog trying to get everything done. You write copious handover notes (which by the way, no one ever reads) trying to cover every eventuality. And then you work like a dog for weeks after trying to catch up.

In some ways that would be ok, if you didn’t work when you are away, but you do, don’t you? I’ve just got back from a 10 day ill deserved break. I was determined not to work, but still, I checked my emails every day. In just 10 days my inbox burgeoned to 1,050. Granted, about 250 were spam, probably the same amount could be filed without much review, but the overwhelming majority needed some kind of effort or response and it’s took all week to clear the backlog.

Fearful of this inbox infestation, people are now essentially working from the beach. I have had two clients this week tell me they are off away on holiday, but they will be doing some work so feel free to email/call. Err no! Have a bloody break, will you??? What’s the point of going away if that’s what you are going to do? You may as well sit at your desk in your Speedos.

A wonderful client, who I consider a friend, once said the graveyard is full of indispensable people. And yet I suspect the provision of WIFI is now one of the top criteria for the choice of holiday destination.

As I splashed in the pool with Isaac this holiday, I was struck by the amount of people fixated on their Ambre Solaire drenched smartphones rather than their partners or kids (there is perhaps a marketing idea there – mobile friendly sun lotion?)

We are all increasingly aware that our time in this world is short. So please make the most of it – even if is for just two weeks – turn off your work head and turn off your email. Trust me, the world will keep spinning and you’ll feel a whole lot better.

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Categories: Sports and Leisure, Holiday

Realia Marketing, 11 months ago