Emailing While You’re on Vacation Is a Quick Way to Ruin Company Culture

Research at Project: Time Off showed that just 14% of (American) managers unplug when they’re on vacation. At the most senior levels of leadership, a mere 7% do. The majority check in with work at least once a day.

Every email sent by a vacationing employee is a tiny cultural erosion: a signal to other employees that time off isn’t really time off. In aggregate, these tiny erosions matter. They send signals like “I don’t trust you to do the job without me,” or “I’m not organized enough to wrap up my loose ends before I go on vacation.” Either way, they erode perceptions of your likability and competence.

Company cultures that don’t support unplugging have employees that are less engaged and less committed to the organization. They are also more likely to be looking for another job.