Post-vacation prework

You may relate to this. I got back from a short vacation today. While away, I did my best to avoid work email, Slack, and other channels. (In an emergency, a text message would reach me.) But as my vacation came to an end, my work anxiety grew. I envisioned spending my first day back responding to emails. So I worked through them this evening to provide a clean slate for tomorrow.

Is this a new phenomenon? Before email, did people relish their vacation until the second they came back to work? Or is it an information worker phenomenon? Do people who work in manufacturing have similar post-vacation prework? After all, they they can’t access factory tools from home.

This could be one reason that the health and wellness benefits of short vacations wear off fast. I hope for a future beyond email and failed alternatives like Slack that add to rather than replace it. It would be wonderful to come back from vacation without prework. And to start in immediately on the work itself, rather than correspondence about it.

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