Not even the cresting waves of the Atlantic Ocean could distract her from the fact that she was on a beach with her family.

She took a few client calls on the two mornings of the vacation, as well as combing through her team's email and chat messages.

"I caught a little flack for working on my vacation." She told Fortune that she was reprimanded by her boss for not taking time off for herself.

It made it a lot easier to get back into the swing of things.

She's not alone. Half of American employees work about one hour a day when on vacation, according to a recent report from Qualtrics.

Knowledge workers are able to work anywhere with a laptop and a wi-fi connection. When does work end?

Since many of us stopped going to the office in March 2020, work has become a constant presence in our homes and even when we try to go on vacation.

The unplugged vacation is going the way of the dinosaur.

Why it’s hard to disconnect

One of the top reasons employees don't take vacation is the fear of falling behind at work.

Most Americans travel in July and August. Offices are already quiet. Many Americans say they are expected to check in when they are away. 27% of respondents are expected to respond to emails while on vacation, and 20% are expected to be online, according to a survey.

There are lines of work and vacations. Where are you when you can work from anywhere? What can I do to stop my boss from sending me an email while I am on vacation?

Contractbook gives her unlimited paid time off in North America. She says she has the ability to travel and work from anywhere. She was on her way to Maine but not for a vacation. She said she just wanted a change of scenery while taking meetings and doing her work, but now she is working more and taking less time off.

Work is never done even with unlimited vacation days. If I didn't have unlimited vacation I would be less inclined to work while on vacation.

The Society for Human Resource Management says that it is more common for employees to take less time off than they would if they had paid vacation time.

It can be dangerous to work on vacation. Proper time to rest and replenish isn't allowed. Employees who work while on vacation are more likely to quit. Almost half of the respondents thought about quitting after they returned from vacation.

According to a report by Qualtrics, almost half of US workers say their job is the main source of their mental health challenges. Due to remote and hybrid work arrangements, it can be difficult to completely disengage.

Soft work, the constantly thinking, worrying, or doing work in you head if not physically answering emails and conducting meetings, can be just as time consuming and tiring on vacation.

She works best when she takes some time to work from vacation. A person commented on her post and said they work two hours a day. Someone else said that if they take a long weekend, they will still check email and respond, but they will take two weeks off, which leaves them with a few days to catch up when they return.

It is up to her and other managers to make sure that their employees know that taking time off is ok.

People have to be encouraged to do what they want. If they want to be completely unplugged, that's fine. People need to know that just because you can work doesn't mean you need to.

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