Vacation is a time for relaxation and rejuvenation - to disconnect and recoup away from the office. The Fourth of July holiday is a perfect excuse for Americans to escape from work and take some well-deserved time off.
But, disconnecting from work can actually create more stress -- almost half (47 percent) of Americans say they are less stressed on vacation when they ARE connected to the office, according to a recent survey of more than 1,000 U.S. employees commissioned by Pertino. Even if it's just once every few days, that connection gives them peace of mind and the ability to enjoy their time away.
If you're a business owner or manager, just because your employees are connected and relaxed doesn't mean you should be! Almost one third of Americans (32 percent) are using unsanctioned or unsecure cloud file sharing services to access business files when away from the office, and 35 percent say they take their work computers and all of their important business files with them on vacation. Your Information Technology (IT) organization should consider providing employees a secure way to access files and applications while on-the-go so that you can relax as well.
Employees' obsession with staying connected is evident in the strange places they admit to conducting work from, including: bathroom (31 percent), the beach (36 percent), and even cruise ships, the Sahara, Sci-Fi conventions and Zoos. If you are one of the online obsessed, here are four simple tips to help you find some relaxation on your summer vacation:
• Unwind by NOT Unplugging: Let's face it, it's almost impossible for many employees, especially senior managers and IT pros, to completely unwind while on vacation. No matter how hard you try to "unplug" from the office, the siren call of email and the crisis du jour beckons you. Fifty-nine percent of Americans claim they work while on vacation and 36 percent are working at least once a day. Men are more likely to be the ones working during summer travel with 64 percent of men saying they work on vacation compared to only 57 percent of women. To do this the right way, set aside time every day to connect with the office and spend the rest of the time enjoying fun in the sun.
• Rest Assured: Unfortunately, you can't always control when a customer needs a last-minute quote or a manufacturing glitch holds up production. To rest a lot easier, make sure your IT pro provides you with access to the office applications, files and resources so you can quickly solve any issues that might arise. Seventy-seven percent don't have access to their office network while away. Consequently, employees have found other ways to take their files with them. But, advances in cloud technology now make it possible for anyone to set up secure networks in minutes that provide an office-like access to IT resources from anywhere.
• Migrations and Martinis: If you're an IT professional, it seems like computer system migrations and vacation schedules always collide no matter how hard you try to avoid it. When they do, you find yourself sitting around the house, instead of joining the party, just so you can be close to your PC and an Internet connection. Increased options in cloud services and mobility make it possible for you to take your office network with you no matter where in the world you roam. The top devices used on vacation include: personally owned computers (52 percent), smartphones (51 percent), and tablets (30 percent). Now, you can be the life of the party and still deal with life at work!
• Secure Your Valuables! You know that thieves can spot a tourist from 100 feet, so you keep your wallet in your front pocket and use a pre-paid credit card. However, using a public Wi-Fi hotspot can make you just as vulnerable to criminals that use widely available shareware to hack, or "sidejack," your computer. They can rob you of your login credentials, your data and your peace-of-mind. To protect yourself, make sure you're using secure network service that provides authentication and encryption of your traffic over public Wi-Fi and the Internet.
So now - sit back, connect and take a sip from your umbrella drink.