Out of the office

In the last few years an interesting phenomena has arisen. Technology has provided us with ways to stay connected to the point where we are expected to be connected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Long gone is the forty hour work week. We are inundated with email, voice mail, tweets, and blogs. In fact, we have made Facebook a verb. We post about what we are doing and how we are feeling.

A few weeks ago I headed out of town for a short business trip. I planned on being in meetings or traveling all day. As a result not only did I put an “out of office” automatic response on my email, I found myself writing that I would have no access to email or voicemail while I was gone. I would not be able to access my email while on the plane, or return a phone call while in a meeting. I planned to be “unplugged.” It was necessary yet uncomfortable.

I have a colleague that plans intensely for a week long “completely unplugged” vacation. We all applaud (and envy) her for her strong boundaries! How crazy is that? We treat being disconnected as something unusual, and yet…

Unplugged? YES! That is when I do my best thinking. Unplugged? YES! That’s when I am fully present. Unplugged? YES! That is when I re-charge, rejuvenate, reconnect and relax.

So I say to everyone who has ever agonized over an out of office message – unplug and enjoy.

2 thoughts on “Out of the office

  1. Patricia – I recently had a similar experience. For those who are not disciplined enough go to the Yellowstone Lodge in Yellowstone National Park. The park has no wi-fi available within the boundaries of the park and for a 10 mile radius around the lodge there is no cell coverage for ANY carrier. It felt great to be there . . . . . and I was forced to unplug.

    Great post.

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