Workers switching on instead of off

16 Jul 2008

Over one fifth of employees in Ireland occasionally check work-related emails and phone messages when they should be sunning themselves, according to a recent survey by Monster.

When asked ‘How much do you work while on vacation?’, some 45pc of those surveyed said ‘Not at all, that’s what vacations are for’; 18pc said they made themselves available for emergencies only and a workaholic 15pc said they ‘never really stopped working’.

Perhaps technology such as the BlackBerry and mobile broadband is making it harder for Irish people to zone out from work. Some27pc of mobile workers surveyed by Vodafone Ireland recently said they often experienced interruptions in their time off as a result of work-related communications. However, it seems we’re not as affected as some of our European neighbours.

The Monster survey showed workers in France and Spain are the most likely to work while on holiday, with 32pc in both countries saying they ‘never really stopped working’. Meanwhile, workers in the Netherlands and Germany are similar to Irish workers, with 52pc and 45pc, respectively, making the most of their holiday time to take a break.

Around 45pc of workers across the world maintain some sort of contact with work during their holidays, be it making themselves available during emergencies or checking their messages.

A lot of employees find it hard to detach from work but owner-managers are in a league of their own. Over two thirds (67pc) of owner-managers in Ireland’s small- and medium-sized businesses contact the office by phone or email when they are on annual leave, according to an SME lifestyle survey conducted by O2 Ireland last year. Of these, some 41pc make contact from the beach or swimming pool.

By Sorcha Corcoran