July 14, 2008 / 5:50 PM / in 9 years

Vacationing Canadians stay connected to work: poll

TORONTO (Reuters) - The majority of Canadians say they don’t disconnect from the office while on holiday, according to a recent poll.

<p>Business workers use their BlackBerry devices during a meeting in London March 6, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville</p>

Fifty-seven percent of people surveyed by job-search website Monster.ca admit to doing some work while on vacation, through e-mail and telephone, while the rest say they completely unplug from job-related responsibilities.

”It comes with the times of being habitually working, Robert Waghorn, a spokesman for Monster Canada, said on Monday.

“Even if they’re not taking a vacation, they’re at home -- after they’ve had dinner and put the kids to bed -- they end up putting in an hour, hour and a half of work to catch up. Or they’ll do a little bit on the weekend -- and certainly technology facilitates this,” Waghorn said.

“With the means of BlackBerry and now with the iPhone coming out, people are just accustomed to it.”

Of the 1,792 respondents polled in June, 23 percent said they “occasionally check e-mails and phone messages” while on holiday, while a further 17 percent went as far as admitting they “never really stop working.”

Another 17 percent said they make themselves “available for emergencies only” while on vacation.

Along with the latest gadgets making it easier for employees to stay connected to the office, Waghorn said that demanding workplace environments, job cuts and personal expectations also add to the pressure to stay in touch.

He said previous Monster.ca surveys have shown that younger generations are more likely to leave their work at the office, while baby boomers, who have more responsibilities in their jobs, are more likely to take work with them.

“It’s not to say that Gen Yers are nine-to-fivers only, but they feel like they’ve put in the quality amount of work that they’ve done and, when it’s time to turn off and take a vacation or have personal life balance, they’ll do that.”

On the flip side of taking work on holiday, 50 percent of those responding to the same survey revealed they use company time to plan their vacations.

Twenty-five percent of respondents admitted to doing “everything at work, from research to booking,” while the other quarter said they do “a little bit” of holiday planning while on the job.

Waghorn said it’s in the employers’ best interest to encourage workers to make the most of their time off, as they get more productive employees back on the job.

“They may not take as many sick days, they won’t be going on burnout,” he said. “If you’re happy with your personal life you’ll be happier at your work life too.”

Editing by Rob Wilson

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