In a viral TikTok video, a man argues that the holiday season shouldn’t come with the expectation of replying to work emails, drawing the attention of more than 96,000 viewers on the platform.
User @tanneremc shares his frustration that his out-of-office notice, stating he had no access to his computer while on vacation and was unable to reply to emails, was completely ignored by co-workers.
@tanneremc “No really, you should use as much PTO as possible!” 🙃 That’s what I get for taking care of my mental health in the American corporations. I really and truly hate everyone. #corporatelife #pto #mentalhealthmatters #ReadyForHell #outofoffice #leavemealone #fyp #tiktokswithtanner ♬ Original sound – tanneremc
“There’s nothing better than vacationing in the United States,” he says. “I have an out of office notice that says, ‘I don’t have my laptop. I don’t have access to email. I won’t be back by then.’ They want to know how many emails I have saying “Hey, we sent you an email, no reply.” I’m not around my computer. There should be no expectation that I would answer them on my vacation even if I transferred my email to my phone.”
When the pandemic hit in 2020, technology allowed many to make a quick shift to remote work, but it also allows for constant connectivity that can easily lead to burnout. In 2021 the Conde Nast Traveler reported on the significant negative health effects of overwork, citing a study by the University of Tampere in Finland that says vacation time is key to maintaining workers’ mental health. The study reports that the two most important factors in taking time off from work are “detachment” from work and “relaxation”.
Both can be difficult to achieve when the email inbox is still accepting requests – even with a clear out-of-office notice like @tanneremc’s.
On the video from TikToker, commenters shared similar frustrating experiences with colleagues not respecting their desire to be left alone on vacation. A particular frustration was the unwillingness of others to read out-of-office notices.
“Basic reading comprehension is questionable in senior management, I think,” replied one commenter.
“I tell people, ‘I don’t have an answer, my resource is out of the office,’ and they act like I should go to their vacation spot to find out ASAP,” wrote another commenter.
“This notion of everyone always being available really needs to stop,” wrote one commenter. “If I’m out of the office for any reason, don’t contact me.”
The Daily Dot contacted @tanneremc via Instagram direct message regarding the video.
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*Initial publication: June 17, 2022 at 9:22 am CDT
Brooke Sjoberg is a freelance writer for the Daily Dot. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/work-emails-on-vacation/ TikToker prompts colleagues to email him while on vacation