A Solution to Burnout: Green Bank, WV and Radio Silence
Everyone needs a vacation—usually a week to relax, have fun, spend time with family, and not work. Often times it is the last item of the list that is the most difficult.
Like it or not, most of us now live in a world where we complete our work in the traditional sense at an office. Since the advent of computer networks, the Internet, and smartphones, many workers today moonlight as teleworkers. With the constant alerts, beeps, and alert badges, it is near impossible to resist the urge to read, respond, and work.
We are more connected than ever. But that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Checking emails and answering work calls after hours can lead to greater stress and anxiety. Checking emails and taking calls in the evening, on the weekend, or on vacation never allows you to relax and fully disengage from work.
Essentially, your brain is constantly charged for work-related tasks and doesn’t turn off or relax. Eventually, this leads to burnout. The resolution? A vacation.
Vacation is exactly what you need to relax and forget about your work responsibilities for a week. Except even on vacation, you are just as connected as you are everywhere else. It seems that no matter where you are, you will have some connectivity to email or calls. You can be reached just as easily in the Bahamas as you can from your office or living room.
However, there is hope!
There is a little patch of paradise in this country and it is called Green Bank, West Virginia. If you ever wanted to ensure you’d be disconnected from everything, then Green Bank is the place. There isn’t a whole lot here and that is the point!
And the reason this is paradise? Green Bank is located in the National Radio Quiet Zone where radio transmissions are heavily restricted.
The National Radio Quiet Zone is actually quite a large area, but Green Bank is unique in that it is home to the Green Bank Telescope, the largest steerable radio telescope on the world. To ensure there is no interference for such a sensitive instrument, there are absolutely no radio transmissions in the area!
That means no cellular services, no Wi-Fi, and even no microwave ovens. As stated earlier, Green Bank doesn’t offer much, but you can visit the telescope observatory. So, if you ever truly wanted to get away and disconnect, take a trip to Green Bank and enjoy some radio silence.
Alex Zeltmann attended the Cisco Academy during his time in high school and joined the ABS team during his senior year in 2005 as an intern. Alex went on to attend Virginia Tech and graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science while still working for ABS during his school breaks. Upon graduation, Alex became a full-time employee in 2010 and has worked his way all the way up to his current role as the Infrastructure Engineer Manager.