These are the true life confessions of a workaholic.
As an avid traveler and startup founder, the temptation to overwork is a consistent, dull tug at my psyche that rarely relents. I lose sleep, I think about conversion metrics in the shower and team dynamic at the dinner table. It’s just part of the struggle, but I’m not complaining.
On the other hand, it is extremely important to completely disconnect and take some time away in the form of a vacation. When I’m on vacation, the easy route is to avoid and alienate myself by continuing down the path of “production” and “drive” but…that’s stupid.
I recently read a blog post by David Heinemeier Hansson that highlights Microsoft’s “dystopian pitch for remote work” which brought to light some frightening vision around the future of work. He criticizes Microsoft for their recent campaign that encourages working during vacations and other life events. What ever happened to the importance of maintaining work-life balance? And honestly, it looks more like an advertisement in George Orwell’s “1984”.
It’s easy to think that remote work brings a heightened sense of productivity, which can ultimately lead to more hours, more work and more output. In some ways, that’s true, but let’s not get away from the real benefit of remote work, which is FREEDOM.
Telecommuting means you get the freedom to own your schedule, not become enslaved by it. I work remotely so I can optimize the work that’s being done and not to just sit at a screen logging hours.
Countless studies have been conducted on the benefits of down time. According to this post on Businessweek, “vacationers experienced an 82% increase in job performance post-trip,” which is compelling to say the least.
Taking some time away from work is all about having the confidence in knowing the entire operation will not burn to the ground in your absence. Trust is a key factor here. Know that what you’ve built or are building will be waiting for you when you get back. The world will go on, I promise.
About the Author
Matt Boyd is co-founder of Sqwiggle, an app designed to make remote working a more collaborative experience. Follow him and his journey as a productivity blogger, remote worker and distributed team builder on his blog.