September 07, 2010
Half of Americans Check Business Email on Vacation
By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor
A pair of new studies suggests the degree to which many Americans remain tethered to work even when on vacation.
A new survey sponsored by Xobni (News - Alert) found that roughly two out of three Americans (72 percent) and Brits (68 percent) who check their email outside of regular business hours do so while on vacation, when they are taking time off, on a weekend or on another non-work day.
Separately, another study conducted by iPass (News - Alert) suggests 94 percent of respondents stay connected, at least some of the time, to work, even when on vacation. About 58 percent report they connect at least some days when on vacation. About 36 percent report they connect at least part of every day when they are on vacation.
The Xobni study was conducted by Harris Interactive (News - Alert) (in U.S.) and Opinion Matters (in UK) found workers in America and the United Kingdom regularly check email outside of normal business hours, including on vacation, weekends, sick days and even when they are in bed at home, in order to stay on top of their over-flowing inboxes.
The majority of respondents to the iPass poll (53.6 percent) never truly disconnect from technology when on vacation. For the 46.4 percent of mobile employees that do on occasion disconnect, their reasons were mostly situational, such as being in a location with poor connectivity.
In fact, says Xobni, 42 percent of Americans who check work email outside of business hours shared that they check emails when they are home sick. while 26 percent of Britons also report they do so.
More than one quarter (27 percent) of Americans and a fifth of Brits (20 percent) who check email outside of business hours do so because they feel they are expected to provide quick responses, even outside regular business hours.
Additionally, 37 percent of Americans, are afraid to go without checking their email because they might miss something important compared to 45 percent who have the same worry in the U.K. Many Americans who check work email outside of regular business hours (43 percent) do so in order to ease their workload and 18 percent feel the need to check email outside of work hours in order to have a successful career.
Gary Kim (News - Alert) is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Erin Monda