The American workplace war on your private time has developed a new weapon, the Boston Globe reports today — the workation.
The online jobs site Glassdoor says more than a quarter of workers surveyed intend to keep in touch with work when they’re on vacation.
It’s unlikely the trend can be reversed. Even getaway sites are changing their facilities to recognize that people who want to get away can’t or won’t.
Americans take fewer vacation days than they used to, according to Project: Time Off, an initiative of the US Travel Association. From 1978 to 2000, Americans averaged 20.3 days off a year; by 2014, it had bottomed out at 16. Vacation time has risen slightly since then, but the amount of work being done has increased along with it.
“I don’t think we’re going to see the lines become unblurred,” said a Project: Time Off researcher, Katie Denis.
Kristen Lucas, a landscape architect in West Lafayette, Ind., grew up in the Berkshires and returns every summer with her 6-year-old daughter for a month, to visit her family. Like 41 percent of workers across the country, Lucas doesn’t get paid vacation time, so she sets up shop at a new co-working space in North Adams. She takes a few days off at the beginning and end of the trip, and is hoping to work four-day weeks this summer.
Taking uninterrupted blocks of time off would be tough even if she had paid vacation time, Lucas said, and in the end, working in the Berkshires for a few weeks feels almost like a real getaway.
“It’s just such a huge change in state of mind,” she said.
Millennials are the most likely to work while unwinding. Sixty-two percent of workers aged 18 to 34 check in during vacations.
A Cape Cod inn, however, has the right idea. Guests’ devices are collected, and televisions in the inn’s rooms are disconnected; in exchange, they get a $200 resort credit, a gift certificate to a local bookstore, and complimentary bike rental, the Globe says.
It’ll never catch on.
Postings will be spotty today. I’m on workation for the day.