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Put Down the Smartphone and Take a Vacation, Please

Polls in CPA Letter Daily offer an insight to the readers’ opinions about topics taking place in today’s world.

Last week’s poll question, nearly 1,900 responses: When on vacation, how easy is it for you to disconnect from work? 

  • I check my smartphone occasionally while on vacation to keep inbox volume down. – 49.9%
  • I respond only to work emergencies while on vacation. – 24.6%
  • I leave my work smartphone at home, or travel where I don't have service. – 11.56%
  • I bring my work smartphone with me on vacation, but rarely check it. – 8.33%
  • I'm on my smartphone, working constantly, while on vacation. – 5.61%
At a glance it seems that the majority of respondents (94.39%) remain disconnected from work while on vacation at varying levels. However, only 11.56% of respondents are truly disconnected by leaving their smartphone at home or going where they don’t get service. The rest of us only Exotic vacation cruise carnivalmake attempts at disconnecting. If you’re “only checking email to keep inbox volume down” or only responding to emergencies, you’re still working and not disconnecting entirely, and that can be damaging to your health.

Those that responded that they’re constantly working while on vacation have the most work ahead of them to disconnect. Don’t despair, there is hope! The New York Times offers some simple solutions in the article, “Planning the Perfect Vacation.” For starters, leave your smartphone at home. That may be hard for many to do, but it’s the easiest way to disconnect while on vacation. If you have a rough time doing so, try going on vacation to an exotic location where reception will keep you from checking your smartphone constantly.

Scared that by not checking your smartphone you’ll come back to an inbox email explosion? Ask co-workers to remove you from email threads that you don’t need to be included in. Still scared? Try a short smartphone free vacation. Start with just a day off and disconnect entirely, but don’t just hang around the house. You’ll be too tempted to check your smartphone. Instead, plan a day away, go to the spa, on a hike or to a theme park. Anything that will keep you busy, let you forget about work and not tempt you to check that smartphone.

Americans on average get the least amount of vacation when compared to other countries. So why waste the time you do get by working? Take some time and detox. The AICPA’s Work-Life Balance page on AICPA.org has additional resources available that can help you disconnect.

What helps you disconnect from work while on vacation?

Gregory J. Wright, MBA, AICPA Staff.

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