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Staying in touch on vacation

By Nick Easen for CNN

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Staying in touch with the office while on vacation can be a stressful business.
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(CNN) -- Although many business people say they will never fall into the workaholic trap of taking their laptop and mobile phone on vacation, some do.

The latest technology -- including mobile phones, wireless laptops and handheld devices -- has made it easier to stay in touch, 24/7, at many holiday spots and hotels around the globe.

This year, according to one U.S. survey, more than one third of employees plan to take their work with them on vacation.

Of the 1,400 workers polled, 16 percent said that their supervisors expected them to stay in touch while on holiday. Another 19 percent plan to check-in voluntarily.

Out of those that will be in contact with the office, 61 percent plan to use e-mail or voicemail on a daily basis.

"If an employee is at the beach but is preoccupied with work and reaching for the phone, it defeats the whole purpose of getting away," says Rosemary Haefner, of human resources firm CareerBuilder.com, who conducted the poll.

In the same survey 50 percent of workers said they get stressed at the office. And 22 percent of this group indicated that holidays also stress them out, because they have to stay in touch with co-workers.

Stressed workers also said that the number one event they had put off in order to progress up the career ladder was taking a vacation.

Toronto-based physician Mel Borins, the author of "Get Away Just for the Health of It", suggests that if you have to stay in touch with the office, keep it to a minimum.

Some employees are asked to leave itinerary information so bosses can keep in touch. Borins suggests only giving out contact details to reliable colleagues who will call only if the matter is urgent.

Also, technology companies are coming up with new solutions that allow employees to work effectively outside of the office, with the same resources they would expect if they were at their desk or at home.

For instance, GoToMyPC by Citrix provides real-time, remote access to desktop files, programs and network resources.

Travelers download the software to their office computer before hitting the road, and leave the computer running and connected to the Internet. When employees log in at a remote computer, laptop or pocket PC they can connect directly to their office computer.


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