Vacation fears

June 15, 2009
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Attorneys are notorious for putting off vacation time or even bringing work with them while on vacation, but will the current state of the economy lead to an increase in work on vacation or even no vacation at all? According to a recent CNN.com article, some people are worried that if they take a vacation during this recession, they may not have a job to come back to. A survey released in May by CareerBuilder found nearly 20 percent of respondents said they were afraid of losing their jobs if they go on vacation or feel guilty in being away from the office.

The fear is once your company realizes the office can function without you, you are seen as expendable. Another possibility is people want to be seen as dedicated workers and now is not the time to take a vacation when they economy is in trouble.

Granted, law offices don’t run exactly the same way as other businesses, but who’s to say this hasn’t crossed a managing partner or law firm executive’s mind? A legal secretary takes a week off and returns to work only to learn that the firm’s decided to downsize after finding ways to be more efficient. Perhaps firm leaders realized the firm could do the work with fewer people after someone’s been on vacation.

Attorneys aren’t as vulnerable given the structure of the law firm, but if an attorney isn’t pulling his or her weight, it may become more noticeable when he or she is out of the office and someone else is helping out.

The irony of it all is that a vacation is probably needed by most workers now more than ever because many are overworked due to staff layoffs. Vacations help recharge and re-energize workers, and help with physical and mental health. According to the CNN.com article, the workers interviewed plan on taking long weekends for vacations instead of a week or more at a time.

What do you think about this article? Is it just the view of a few paranoid people or is this a valid fear?
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