More Vacationing Workers Keep E-Mail Handy

By May 28, 2010

More workers than ever may be packing their work Blackberry or laptop on their way out of town, show multiple studies on the habits of US vacationing employees. The second annual Mobile Messaging Study conducted by Osterman Resea

rch illuminated how the general population conducts work activity even while on vacation.

According to the vacation study, commissioned by software maker Neverfail, 79 percent of respondents take their work-related device with them.

41 percent identify themselves as "e-mail packrats," and many workers check their e-mail to avoid an insurmountable inbox upon their return.

In a CareerBuilder vacation survey from 2009, referenced in, findings showed that "nearly one in five workers fear losing their jobs if they go on vacation or feel guilty being away from the office, and the recession is another factor pushing workers to go to extreme measures to check email." This was consistent with the Mobile Messaging Study, where in order to check e-mail while on vacation, over one-third hide from friends and family, and nearly half travel up to ten miles.

While the gender gap for those who stay connected to work through the weekend is rather small, age brackets make a large difference. 31.9 percent of men and 28.2 percent of women check-in, and thirty percent of the general population of respondents do so. By age group, the categories are as follows:

under thirty: 35.6 percent
30-39: 37.8 percent
40-49: 33.7 percent
50-59: 28.0 percent
over sixty: 18.8 percent

IDC survey respondents use new technologies outside of work, and their "always-on lifestyle" also includes social media. For business purposes, 34 percent use consumer social networks and nine percent use microblogging sites.

But the additional time spent does not correlate to perceived productivity. Of employees surveyed by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), 52.3 percent feel social media helped them learn more efficiently. 37 percent say they get more work done.

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