All work and no fun?  Time for a vacation, but still need to work?  Here’s how to balance and get the best of both worlds!

As Americans we work hard and we work a lot.  According to CNN Money, Americans work longer work-weeks than any other industrialized nation.  We also have less vacation time to take.  CNN states that “U.S. workers got about 15 days off in the past year and took 14 days, according to a 2014 survey. Europeans are given an average of 28 days, while workers in the Asia-Pacific receive 19.”


So why not get the best of both worlds?  Why not combine a work week with vacation?

I recently did just that and here are my thoughts on how you can do it too.

Find your away-from-the-office workplace sanctuary:

There is absolutely nothing more frustrating than dropping a call or losing a connection during a Webex with a client. It’s embarrassing, stressful, and unnecessary.  So, find a place where you can work during dedicated days or hours.  If you are a part of the WeWork community, you can book workspaces all over the world.  From London to Seoul, you can work all day or for a few hours while taking advantage of quiet conference rooms, reliable Wifi, and of course unlimited coffee and beer.

Thanks WEWORK Amsterdam!-1

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, you’ll quickly find out what it means to your crew NOT on vacation:


While you’re away enjoying eating out, sleeping in, and seeing the sights, don’t forget that your team is not actually on vacation with you.  When working and traveling, make sure to use your email application’s scheduling function and if you use a team communication program, like Slack, have your team use the “do not disturb” function, so that you can send messages and ask questions when it’s convenient for you without worrying about waking everyone up at 4am.   Unfortunately, I learned this one the hard way!  Sorry guys!

Get your family onboard, so they don’t throw you overboard:

hiding in bathroom


If you tell your family that you’re only checking emails “periodically” and then they find you hiding in the bathroom for hours frantically typing on your iphone, then you’re not being honest or fair to yourself or your family.  When they complain, and if you’re traveling with teenagers oh they will complain alright, you’ll end up getting defensive and act like a martyr for “having” to work when we all know you “want” to work.  So tell your family from the beginning your intentions of working.  Don’t spend the entire vacation working, but pick a few days or a few set hours each day that you can work away from your family peacefully.  You can even set up fun, family-bonding activities for them to do while you’re working.  This way, they’re not waiting for you and asking you every five minutes when you’ll be done.  Afterward, they’ll excitedly share their experience when you get back each day.  When you set the expectations from the beginning you can ditch the “working mom guilt” and get the best of both worlds.

Alright US workforce, get out there, go on vacation and show the rest of the world how we do it!