By Claire West
It seems you can take the worker out of the office — but you can’t take the office out of the worker! In fact, 80 per cent of Brits cannot switch off and continue to check their work email when on holiday. However, the vast majority of those (65 per cent) say a few minutes work - to ensure all’s well back at the office - actually allows them to then get on with enjoying their holiday more.
But not everybody is so positive. The research, conducted on behalf of internet service provider Lumison, found 30 per cent of workers resent not being able to switch off when on holiday — saying they hate having to check their emails. One reason may be the inevitable conflict with their family.
Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of respondents admitted to arguments with family members over their inability to switch off, while 14 per cent said they avoid such conflict by sneaking off to covertly check their inboxes, while the family are sleeping or distracted.
Commenting on the research, Aydin Kurt-Elli, CEO of Lumison, said: "The world we work in has changed dramatically. A few years ago it may have seemed crazy to suggest that a few hours work while on holiday could help somebody have fun but that is clearly now the case. In extenuating circumstances, technology can even be the difference between at least being able to take a holiday or having to cancel and stay in the office.”
“But it is paramount that people must be able to switch off from time to time and recharge their batteries, nobody should feel they have to check email on holiday as a matter of course. Sometimes dedication, while admirable, should be discouraged by HR, because worrying about work and an actual necessity to work aren’t always the same thing.”
“I’m a boss myself and I realise, although all my staff are able to work from anywhere, thanks to the technology we provide, this is a question of culture, morale and getting long term benefit from happy employees. Technology has made great strides. There are times I really value having my BlackBerry and laptop to hand but it should only be there to make our work life balance better and easier to manage, not worse."