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DEBATE: Should you switch off from the office this summer...

You can keep in touch with the office at the touch of a button - but why would you want to?

MARK SUMMERS SAYS - Out of office should mean out of mind

When telecoms executives or tech pioneers talk about how their innovations have changed our lives, they love to say they've 'made the world smaller'. Well, yes. But that's not always a good thing. In fact come our annual summer holiday it can have the effect of placing colleagues and clients on the sunbed next to you. You may be roaming the globe, but your phone is too.

Smartphones and social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter mean it is increasingly hard to escape - no matter how far your chosen airline may carry you. Most people have made peace with the fact that there are times they will have to revert to 'work mode' outside of office hours.

But we should carve out a couple of weeks a year - at the very least - when work is a distant memory. Sure, if there's an emergency most will gladly pitch in. But let's face it, these are thankfully few and far between. If you're the type who insists on getting in touch during their vacation, deep down you probably think that the office can't cope without you - sadly untrue for most of us. Either that or you're so uptight that your colleagues probably look forward to your summer break more than you do.

So stick on that 'out of office' alert, and relax. You'll feel better. And if you get the urge to stay in touch with the office, make it by postcard - not text, tweet or telephone.

BARRY KING SAYS - It's less stressful to stay connected

I need a summer holiday as much as the next hard-working UAE resident. In fact, as you read this I'll be chasing a big-eared mouse around a theme park near Paris. It's a great feeling sticking that 'out of office' on your email and heading for the airport.

But, no matter how many times I vow never to check work emails while on holiday, I find I can never stick to it.

It's not that I don't trust my team to continue producing a quality product in my absence. I just feel I need to stay up to speed with what's going on - and I'm not talking office gossip.

Having email on your phone doesn't help. A 'quick check' and you can guarantee there's an email in there from someone who starts, 'Nothing urgent but …' That usually translates to 'I don't care that you're on holiday, can you answer my email?'

But I honestly don't mind that. I'd rather that than skip into the office on my first day back, regaling colleagues with tales of how fresh the air is in the North east of England, only to then have to wade through thousands of emails. Plus, I'd look silly if I walked in on my first day back unaware of the big news stories of the previous two weeks - especially wearing Mickey Mouse ears…

Have a great summer.

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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jul 11, 2013
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