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Former Staff
Posts: 5,427
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Vacationer's guilt & vacation remorse

[ Edited ]

Chairs on a beach

 

Hi everyone, 

 

As I was reading about holidays, I found myself relating to a few of the points raised in the various articles I was browsing and thought it would be great to get your views on the subject as well!

 

In recent studies, it was found that -at least in the US-, a lot of people did not use their full allowance of holidays, and that even when they did so, they continued working, answering emails, and tried to "compensate" for that time off by working longer or harder in the days leading up to their time off. 

 

It's a phenomenon that seems to have been around for a while, and as I kept reading about it I found out that many called it vacationer's guilt, or vacation remorse. This refers to the fact that some people feel guilty for taking time off, whether it's because they do not want to appear slacking off, jumping off ship, or because the perspective of having to catch up and deal with a full inbox of emails and tasks upon their return is daunting. Even though everyone agrees that time off is good for us, both our mental and physical health, and makes us more productive upon returning, it can be hard to leave our work routines behind!

 

Can you guys relate to any of this?

How easy, or hard, is it/was it for you guys to time off work?

Do you manage to cut off completely from work or do you keep an eye on your emails while away? 

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Posts: 93,057
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Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Vacationer's guilt & vacation remorse

I don't work now @EmilieT  and it just shows how times have changed (for the worse I think)

Before the days of mobile phones, I could take a holiday abroad which was totally uninterrupted. I had put arrangements in place for someone who was designated to take over my role and we would have a handover session when I got back

 

If I was holidaying at home, this was slightly different. My staff knew they could phone me at any time if there was an emergency...

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Re: Vacationer's guilt & vacation remorse

I never ad problems taking time off when I was working as a motor mechanic, it was nice to get away from the oil and grease but in those days you only got two weeks holiday a year plus bank holidays. And no such thing as Spring bank holiday. You turned in for work no matter how sick you were because you only got paid for the hours you worked. No mobiles and no internet in those days...

All that changed once I was a manager. Four weeks holiday but added responsibilities for profitably, staff tea breaks and those 'shirking' staff. A basic monthly wage plus bonuses, the advent of internet, manufacturers warranty claims, spread sheets and monthly management meetings with branch heads and directors.

So holidays, whilst badly needed and much look forwarded to, brought the usual lead up trying to get everything in place including balance sheets and trying to make sure there would be a seamless handover. As for returning to work....? That was a ****** and took a week to catch up!

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Former Staff
Posts: 5,427
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Re: Vacationer's guilt & vacation remorse

@Cleoriff You make a good point about pre-mobile phones holidays. No matter what, you could get a proper break from work and duties, whereas now it can be a bit trickier ...

 

@jonsie So for you the "guilt" or "compensating" aspect came into play slightly when you got more responsibilities? I think that makes sense, especially with people depending on your leadership and planning - it only speaks volumes of your professional integrity Smiley Happy

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Anonymous
Posts: 0

Re: Vacationer's guilt & vacation remorse

In years gone by yes but now no.

 

 

 

 

Former Staff
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Re: Vacationer's guilt & vacation remorse

It's great you got past it @Anonymous  - I'd love to know if it came with experience, a change of role/company, or anything else you can pinpoint?

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Anonymous
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Re: Vacationer's guilt & vacation remorse


@EmilieT wrote:

It's great you got past it @Anonymous  - I'd love to know if it came with experience, a change of role/company, or anything else you can pinpoint?


@EmilieT 

 

Experience and observation, unless you work for a very small company or it is your own, you need to let go of the illusion that you are anything more than a small cog in a large machine and that working yourself to exhaustion doesn't actually benefit you at all and in a worse case scenario it can cost you in a big way.

 

Be good at your job certainly but getting a reputation as a workaholic can leave you being dumped on and I have personal experience of this so now I do what I can within a working day/week and don't worry about the rest.

 

I also had a Manager who was superb and used to attend meetings late into the evening and would argue for stuff I and colleages had asked for to get stuff done, on a number of occasions I saw him come back from meetings with a face as red as a postbox and he would just say 'that was a tough one'

 

One night he'd been working late after the rest of us had gone home, he's picked up his brief case and  was walking out to his car and started getting pains in his chest, he got to his car and managed to drive home and told his wife who called an Ambulance, they got him to hospital and it was discovered he'd had a severe heart attack.

 

He left on medical grounds shortly after but it did make me think.

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Re: Vacationer's guilt & vacation remorse

I've only ever done office work ... 2 weeks holiday per year ... I'm retired now ... but I don't think I ever felt holiday guilt or holiday remorse ... there was the inevitable pile of work to do on the Monday I retuned to work ... wherever I've worked no-one has done my work whilst I've been away

I've just 'done my job'

I usually sent the company staff a postcard 

 

The worst holiday was one Christmas when I was a single parent and could only have the 2 Bank Holiday days off work ... I felt very guilty regarding not being with my son because no sensible management would close the firm down over the Christmas to New Year period

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Former Staff
Posts: 5,427
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Re: Vacationer's guilt & vacation remorse

@Anonymous 

That's a really powerful story, it'd have make me think as well for sure astonished

 

@WispaRed7 

The holiday period can be really difficult when you have limited holidays like that, I can't imagine how hard it was with your son, but you both got through it and now can have wonderful Christmasses without any of that in the way hugging

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