Do you work on holidays?

Does holiday work pay off? If you find answering this question difficult, my experience and benefits that I see in working on a holiday may help you.

I always take too much stuff to work during holidays. I don’t know whether you work on vacations or not, but if you do, you may be struggling with overscheduling too. Holiday work may seem unjustified to many, but for me it brings fresh air and pleasure to my research work. The pleasure lies, surprisingly, in working slowly, without pressure. To work outside business hours is an attempt to catch up on tasks, to put urgent matters to sleep, or to squeeze extra tasks into fully-booked schedule. None of these apply to me. Working around the clock causes the work to dominate and the initial motivation to fall into background. The first impulse for work is passion. For me and other researchers, it’s passion about science. Daily routine of research career provides many opportunities for loosing this passion. Emails accumulate in the work inbox faster than ever before. Meetings after meetings wear down even the most resilient among us.

When I go on vacation, all of these unpleasant things stay behind, in the office. I pack only the duties that I enjoy; I nurture my passion. The lack of tender-loving-care makes my passion too hungry though and I often pack too many books to read, print too many articles to review, and save too many draft manuscripts on my memory stick. The inability to go through this mountain of work poses an obvious trap of labeling this as another failure to meet my goals. I avoid it swiftly by commending myself on the progress of decreasing the amount of these failures over years. Next year, I’ll pack less.

People work on holidays for many different reasons. If rekindling the passion for work isn’t enough for you to sacrifice holidays, Jacquelyn Smith writes about 8 other benefits of working on a holiday in the Forbesmagazine: money, recognition, extra vacation days, celebrations during off-peak times, chance to show-off leadership, and team play. Read her full article here.