Are you taking a fauxcation?

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Jul 03

Been for a dip Business Week is offering up some good posts by respected business bloggers. One of my recent favorites is in the work-life balance section (work-life balance, by the way, I don’t believe in. There is merely choice…).

In any case, the point of Are You Taking a Vacation? Or a Fauxcation? is:

Such is the new epidemic, vacation disease , that has taken hold of Corporate America. Fauxcation takers are those who eke out an extra day for one of those long weekend, bring-your-laptop affairs spent in a Treo trance. These ersatz getaways never deliver on the great decompression researchers say is necessary for peak performance.

To be fair, I take my laptop and Treo with me on all trips away from home, vacation or not. The Treo has my calendar, to do list, and reference notes — and I use them to look up restaurants in the place my wife, Kate, and I are visiting and adding good things to do to the same list. The laptop is for Internet access, including this blog and my business sites.

But, do I spend all or even a statistically large amount of my time on those great three-day weekends with laptop and phone in hand? NOT!

In fact, both Kate and I were ticked when deciding on a trip to the San Juan Islands via Deception Pass and to watch Orca whales that we couldn’t take the Monday after the weekend there as well. Kate had meetings she needed to attend on Monday. And on Monday, in our typical chaotic corporate management of time, all of the meetings she needed to attend were canceled. Not happy.

But, I digress, this day before a three-day weekend for those of us in the United States. You really can achieve complete decompression on a three-day weekend. Use your Treo or Blackberry to chat with friends and not answer work e-mail. Check your laptop to make sure the world is still there after the fireworks — then shut it down.

Three day weekends are wonderful times to reconnect to yourself and your friends. If you’re crazy enough to be “always on” over the three-day weekend, you could end up on the Internet looking this dorky.


  • Well, I bit the bullet this year and went on a real, 8-day vacation with no laptop. I only checked in with the housesitter via cellphone twice. Did it make a difference? Absolutely. I came back more at peace, more refreshed and with a better perspective of my work. I didn’t miss anything that couldn’t wait. (I did prep everyone beforehand that I would be leaving and made sure deadlines had been met.) It’s something I will definitely do again.
    Anita Bruzzese

    • Scot Herrick says:

      @Anita Bruzzese
      Two years ago, Kate and I went on vacation where there was no cell phone coverage and no Internet access from where we stayed. It was the most relaxing vacation we’ve had.

      As well as staying connected, it is important to be disconnected.

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