I’m curious how other folks manage their Shabbat observance in a job that requires a lot of travel. For context, I’m Conservative, and when I’m home I don’t use my phone, work, or computer on Shabbat.
I work in a field that requires a lot of international travel to fairly remote places. We’re often quite limited in what options we have for flights just b/c of the destinations, and the company’s preference is to arrive so you’re in the country office on a Monday and dont lose a work day traveling. Often it takes two days to get to the countries I travel to.
It’s becoming a struggle for me internally and externally. I’m a stickler about not working on Shabbat, and vocalize to my teams when I need to shift a deadline to accommodate (we sometimes have client deadlines over weekends). But I feel like a hypocrite when it comes to travel. For example, I have to fly out on a Saturday, so I’m obviously having to use a phone to coordinate my ride to the airport. And it just generally feels like violating the spirit of the law to me, even though I am someone who’ll take the metro on Shabbat. I can’t quite unpack why this bothers me more than that, but it does.
I also feel like a hypocrite. If I’m willing to bend the rules to accommodate work travel, I feel like it’s a bit hypocritical to not bend it to accommodate a deadline my team needs, if that makes sense. I’ve been giving some thought to asking for an accommodation to travel mid-week and not expensing costs or per diem on those days since it’d be for my own personal preference.
Just to preempt, there is no way to not travel overseas in my field. If I had to put a number on it I’d say I travel 30-40% of the time, depending on project and client needs.
Would love to hear what others think or if anyone’s been in a similar situation. I think I know what my orthodox friends will say but I’m open to all opinions 😉