60% of Brits want work emails banned whilst on holiday

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2017 is over and now 2018 begins.  How many of us ‘switched off’ during our break and how many of us checked work emails before returning back to work on the 2nd January 2018?

Oliverstravels.com have looked at a typical British worker and found that

  • 50% of us try to switch off on holiday
  • 56% of us are addicted to checking work communications
  • 37% of us cannot even manage one single day without checking work communications on holiday
  • 60% of us want employers to cut off work communications whilst on holiday

Britain’s workforce seems to be drowning under digital overload according to a study compiled by villa holidays specialist OliversTravels.com. It shows the vast majority of the UK’s workforce has a work-life balance that is in essence, broken.

With digital obesity being a health concern to many, Oliver’s Travels polled over 1400 office workers from across the UK to ask a series of questions about their ability to switch off from work whilst on holiday.

It seems the prospect of going on holiday be it a summer holiday or the annual Christmas and New Year break, actually having a digital detox is something people are attempting to get right with 50% of workers saying they actively try and switch off.

However, given 56% of respondents admit to being addicted to checking social media or emails in general, it comes as no surprise that over 45% of respondents admitted to checking work-related communications on holiday with 20% saying they check multiple times a day.

37% of workers can’t even go a single day without logging on. 29% said they could last at least 48 hours without checking but only 11% said they could manage a whole holiday without getting sucked in.

Oliver Bell from OliversTravels.com said “Overuse of digital devices is increasingly being blamed for everything from burnout to sleeplessness as well as relationship problems, with many employees uncertain of when they should actually switch off. The rise in flexible working arrangements has created an apparent “always-on” work culture. I think this study shows British workers need protections put in place like the French & Germans have already started doing to ensure workers are able to properly enjoy their time off and return to work fully refreshed”

British workers seem to justify their daily checking of work communications on holiday with 25% saying that up to 10 minutes and 19% said between 20 minutes and 1 hour is the optimal time to spend days to get the right mix of “keeping on top of work” with relaxation.

When asked whether employers should cut off workers access to work communications such as email, a whopping 60% of respondents said yes, but 25% responded saying it would be impractical to do so.

Oliver Bell also commented “employees often feel they are judged on their commitment to their companies and their availability to work yet the workplace is changing as rapidly as technology, with more and more employees working remotely or with colleagues in other time zones. Some of the challenges that come with flexibility are managing those boundaries between work and life and being able to say no, I am not working now and I’m simply not available.”


How many of your employees do you know are checking their emails whilst away on holiday and do you agree that they should be switching off?  Whilst a majority of our members our owners of their own businesses and need to be checking emails and social media to keep business ticking over during holiday periods is there ever a time that you do switch off?  We would like to hear your views on this subject, please do get in touch via email.


Source: Tom Johnson, Agility PR tom.johnson@brandvisibility.co.uk