The disconnected vacation
🏔️ Vacation mode and disconnecting from work
As the popular joke goes:
The case for staying connected
The tweet is exaggerated for comedic effect, but it raises a good question: should we be checking in on work stuff while on vacation?
There’s a good case for staying connected. What if a critical system breaks down and you're the person most familiar with the failing component? Besides, isn't it just common decency to stay available for your colleagues at work? They may be understaffed, especially during the busy holiday season.
The case for going off the grid
The issue with staying connected while on vacation is that it misses an opportunity to improve redundancy in the team. It's inevitable that someone will be absent at some point: vacation, quitting, health issues, technical problems. If the company's business is important, it's especially important that it can continue even if part of the team is missing.
Great teams take real vacation, and use it as an opportunity to improve the resiliency of the way they work.
Try this at … work
I once sat on a plane next to an executive from one of the top football clubs in Europe. He told me that for him, vacation means a few hours a day at the beach with his family (a formally agreed upon no-laptop time), and working the rest of the day from the hotel. He seemed tired. So yes, not everyone has the luxury of a “disconnected” vacation. A lot depends on your team, your job, and your industry.
But If you do have this option, don’t miss the chance to take it! Put things on the right track before you go: document the state of the projects you’re on, set expectations with your manager and teammates, and enjoy your vacation. Leave behind a personal phone number for life-or-death emergencies, and don’t check your work email. This will be fine, probably.
(If by the time you’re back you find only scorched earth and broken systems that couldn’t survive your absence 🔥, let me know and I’ll issue a retraction.)
In other news
Last week was the Barbie vs Oppenheimer showdown in cinemas around the world. I liked Barbie better and felt that Ken was a great representation of my own fragilities. Which movie did you prefer?
Elon Musk rebrands Twitter as X and promises to turn it into a WeChat-style superapp. Meanwhile Instagram’s alternative Threads isn’t available in Europe, the open alternative Mastodon seems slow to take off, where is everyone hanging out?
Postcard from Slovenia
On the way to Triglav 🏔️ 🇸🇮, via what felt like the looooongest valley in the world. Back to work on Monday :). Have a great week 💫 !