Vacation time: Use it if you've got it

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"That's something they'll appreciate versus something they'll hold against you," Johnson said.

Also, leave out-of-office voice-mail messages and email responses that say how long you're gone and who at your company can be contacted in your absence.

One final wrinkle is how much you disconnect from work while you're away. Some need — and want — to unplug and not have to even think about what they do for a living. If that's what you need, more power to you.

But some, myself included, like to stay a little connected. By spending a few minutes here and there scanning my email, I can better enjoy my time off, knowing I won't be returning to 18 bazillion emails.

Sheridan agrees on this point: "Work is no longer where you go, work is what you do. That technology has created increased mobility. While I'm on vacation I sneak a little computer time because I don't like to come back and be stressed."

It's a matter of personal preference. People should do with their time off what makes them feel best.

And speaking of time off, allow me to give each of you a note to deliver to your bosses, one that will guarantee you can happily take the vacation you richly deserve.

TO:______________'s boss

FROM: America's Most Beloved Workplace-Advice Columnist (AMBWAC)

Please encourage ______________ to take (her/his) vacation time, as (she/he) has earned it and will be a better person for it and might even buy you something nice next National Boss Day. If ____________ is a robot, please disregard this note and have (her/him/it) call me, as I'm really interested in having a robot pal.

Regards,

Rex Huppke, AMBWAC

TALK TO REX: Ask workplace questions — anonymously or by name — and share stories with Rex Huppke at IJustWorkHere@tribune.com, follow him on Twitter via @RexWorksHere and find more at chicagotribune.com/ijustworkhere.
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