Don't have a lot of vacation days stockpiled, but need to get away? Consider taking a "workcation" — what the Wall Street Journal describes as a growing trend in which workers head to a destination and pay for their own travel and lodgings, but don't get docked vacation days because they're actually doing work while sprawled on the beach or holed up in a remote mountain cabin.
An employer may agree to an employee's workcation if she simply does some basic work tasks (e.g., checking email, calling in for conference calls) from the road. Or, if that's not enough, the employee could still put in regular workdays, then venture off to check out her destination in her off-hours.
Besides, as the Journal notes, many American workers already feel compelled to check in with the office while on vacation, so why not make it official?
But it turns out while it may work for some (the aforementioned PTO-strapped employees), some fear this alternative could come back to bite everyone in the sunburned bum. First, it won't be a viable option for every worker (think salesmen who need to be in a specific territory to work). Plus, there may be time zone differences to contend with, one worker pointed out to CBS Miami after recently traveling the world with her portable workstation.
And by perpetuating our constant need to check in, it may condition us to never fully log off from work, leading to burnout. "It's not a good thing for employees who are vacationing to feel like they are always on an electronic leash," the president of a time-off advocacy group tells the paper.
(In related news, see if you're in one of the five best — or worst — U.S. cities for a summer staycation.)