Working vacations are an IT mainstay

IT executives explain why they keep tabs on work email and phone messages when they're supposed to be relaxing. By Patrick Thibodeau

That IT professionals work on vacation is as obvious as sand on the beach. For many, it's accepted as part of the job -- and they just might relish the idea that they're indispensable.

In a recent survey of 200 IT pros by TEKsystems, 67% of the senior IT workers polled said that they are expected to be available while they're on vacation.

The IT staffing firm's finding might sound low to some people; many tech career experts say it's likely that as many as 95% of senior IT professionals would have to be on call when they're on holiday.

For IT leaders like Osvaldo de Lima, CIO of ECOM Group, a multinational agriculture commodities trading and processing company, there's no escape from work, just accommodation.

De Lima said he keeps up with email and takes some phone calls during vacations to avoid facing a glut of messages when he returns to the office. "[It's] to my own benefit," he said.

However, he does delegate key tasks to staffers as much as possible. "Trust the team," de Lima said.

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