415 50 30 LINKEDIN 2 COMMENTMORE

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Brent Moeshlin isn't just a newlywed. He's a business owner.

So he couldn't just stop working, even during his 10-day honeymoon in Belize.

"We only had Wi-Fi in the lobby, not even in our hotel room," said Moeshlin, the owner of Quality Comix in Prattville and Montgomery. "I had tons of emails I had to deal with, and I only had one time a day to respond."

Recent research shows he's not alone. In a wired world that's always on and always connected, people are taking work with them when they leave the office — or even when they leave the country.

A study last month by online deal site RetailMeNot found that 59 percent of working Americans plan to do something job-related while on vacation this summer, from returning phone calls to attending meetings remotely. A separate poll by tech company Pertino last year found that the same percentage of people — 59 percent — regularly check e-mails and take work calls during their vacations, year-round.

"I find myself doing that constantly," Kimberly Johnson said.

She's the assistant dean of the College of Business at Auburn Montgomery and an expert on personal and professional time management. But even she's not immune. A quick glance online often leads to her making notes on something to do when she gets back to the office, "and then where did your vacation go?" she said.

"I think that's why you see burnout so much, because people don't really vacation."

Men are more likely to work on vacation, according to the survey, with about 65 percent of men taking business with them, as opposed to 52 percent of women.

Young people may be the most likely to type e-mails from the beach. People under 50 were more likely to take time off for summer vacation, and most of them were taking work along for the ride, according to the RetailMeNot study.

"I think it's just our generation," Griffith Waller said. "You can be reached anywhere at any time."

The 26-year-old is the marketing and public relations manager for the city of Montgomery, a role that means he needs to stay in the loop.

"Over Fourth of July I had a few days off, and I tried to stay away from social media," Waller said. "But you see things that are happening and wonder if you can help or if you should check in."

It's the same situation for Montgomery YMCA marketing director Lara Lewis. Like many in public relations, she handles official social media accounts. That means she gets notifications from the public, even when she's off.

"We live in a society of instant gratification, so you feel like the whole company's reputation could be compromised if you don't respond in a timely manner," Lewis said.

So does the new nature of always-connected business mean that work-free getaways are a thing of the past?

Maybe, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing, RetailMeNot senior editor Trae Bodge said.

She said the key is scheduling and setting limits on work done during a vacation. Do it right and you can still enjoy yourself without letting things pile up until you get back, she said.

"That (post-vacation work) is something that people struggled with before the days of social media," Bodge said. "So connectivity is not such a negative thing, as long as you can set those parameters and stick to them."

But there's still something to be said for unplugging.

Lewis still remembers a family trip she took to a place that had no cell service, leaving her out of touch the entire time.

"Once I got over the initial panic, it was one of the most relaxing times I've ever had," Lewis said.

415 50 30 LINKEDIN 2 COMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1m6Uu6k