Polls / December 2, 2014

Do you respond to work emails while on holiday?

Less than a third of respondents to the eZonomics online poll do not respond to work emails while on holiday, with the bulk of the remainder divided between those who say “it depends” and those who do reply.

I don’t. Do you?
The question “do you respond to work emails while on holiday?” can be a contentious dinner party topic.
Now that many people have smart phones and – technically at least – can be reached at all times of the day or night, there is debate about whether workers should be “on the clock” outside traditional working hours, including while on vacation.
There is little consensus, with even people working in the same firm holding different perspectives.
It taps into the desire to keep a healthy work/life balance as well as be highly productive.
Reports in The Guardian and elsewhere detail “anti-stress” proposals in Germany and other countries in Europe.

My holiday preparation includes work
In addition to responding to email while on holiday, other tensions can exist with taking time off.
An earlier eZonomics poll found about half of the respondents do extra work before or after a public holiday, effectively compensating for the time off.
The analysis of the poll result highlights how some jobs and work environments lend themselves more to “pre-holiday cramming”.

The case for more holidays
Holidays can mean rest and relaxation or the thrill of trying a new experience.
Time off together can also have social benefits according to research from 2006 from Germany that argues “there is a case to be made for more public holidays”.
A way to boost enjoyment, backed by research, is planning ahead to create anticipation before the travel, and taking time to share stories of the experience with loved ones by reminiscing when you’ve returned.

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eZonomics team
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