Work emails: Have they ruined your summer holiday?


As the summer season comes to an end a lot of us have, no doubt had the dreaded return from holiday to a mountain of unread work emails. Or have we? With the increasing demand and availability of free Wi-Fi in hotels, restaurants, bars, airports and more all over the world we are never far from being able to check our work emails through our phones.


However, the curse of having such access is that we now rarely leave the office behind when we go on holiday and risk ruining our break – irritating friends and relatives – by tapping away on our phones throughout the holiday, sometimes dealing with urgent queries, but often just reading and deleting in order to avoid having to come back to a bulging inbox that takes days to clear.


A new initiative being taken up by big corporates is to offer employees the option to have their emails automatically deleted when they are on holiday. Senders are notified that their message will not be received, and are given the name of an alternative person to contact or just asked to email again on the recipients return. A good solution and one that hopefully will give us an ‘email detox’ and take us back to the old days. But then again do we want that?


I remember my summer holidays as a child with my father (as a business owner) constantly nipping off to a pay phone to ‘call the office’. In fact on one holiday we had there was a phone in the toilet in our room! Bizarre to say the least, but it ‘killed two birds with one stone’ as my father would explain to my mother in an attempt to not ruin the holiday. So has it changed? It seems not and in some cases it seems there is only one thing worse than knowing what’s going on at work, and that is not knowing!


Either way, like it or not, technology will continue to advance and give us increasing accessibility to whatever we want and or need. It seems it is down to us to make the decision on whether or not work emails will ruin our holidays.