By Rita Pagan

Vacations are supposed to be a respite from work, right? What if you can’t shut down?

After I scheduled a few days off to take a road trip with my children, a co-worker suggested I leave my laptop at home and delete the Outlook email app from my phone.  I laughed and laughed.  Thinking to myself, um, that’s never going happen.  I have email OCD!  How could I ever not answer an email as soon as I get it?  Those little number notifications give me anxiety.

In fact, 77 percent of U.S. working adults say they check work email every day while on vacation, according to a Trip Advisor Survey.

Are we really doing ourselves a favor?  I found myself getting more stressed out about all of the new projects that I had to start as soon as I get back from vacation.  And I desperately wanted to refresh and enjoy my family.  I wanted to be present.

Research suggests that a change of pace boosts productivity.  Time away from the office can also spark creativity. The ideas for major businesses, like Instagram or the musical “Hamilton,” were inspired on vacation.

Remember that if you check email on vacation, your work is not invading your personal time. You’re inviting it in!

Rita Pagan is IPMI’s events and exhibits manager.