Bags packed, flights booked and foreign currency in their pockets. The workforce might be jetting off but they’re definitely not leaving the daily grind behind. Instead – according to a survey of 1,000 office workers in the City of London – a whopping 73% of workers will check in with the office, whilst on holiday.
The results also show that over 50% of those planning a summer break abroad will remain in contact with the office every day to ensure things stay on track during their absence, by checking email accounts and text.
Of this group, 32% check their emails more than once a day and if you’re the boss, it seems you never truly rest as 83% admitted that they will be in touch with their offices throughout their entire vacation.
- 73% of workers phone, text or email their places of work during their holiday of which 54% will check emails at least once a day and 32% more than once a day!
- 41% take mobile devices on holiday for work purposes
- 62% expect their employers to contact them whilst away on holiday
- 44% of respondents feel that being contactable gives them job security
- 51% of laptops are left totally unsecured without even a password for protection
- Only 26% of these laptops will be encrypted
Paranoid or laid back – which are you?
We are divided. 39% of the sample group felt more stressed after checking emails whilst another 39% admitted checking their emails would leave them more stressed. 32% are undecided. Over 50% of respondents have no security on laptops at all!
In a worrying new statistic, 51% of those storing work on their laptops are doing so without any security whatsoever with not even a password for protection! Let’s hope they’re not left behind at the airport, in a café or on the beach.
From the horse’s mouth:
Jane, City PA from Harpenden:”My director feels he can contact me at any time for the most inane of queries, ‘Where is the contacts folder?’ or ‘What time did you book me on my flight to Geneva?’ and I feel it’s an invasion of my privacy. I was even called off the beach by the hotel reception because my mobile was not picking up signal so my boss called the hotel directly.”
Mike, CEO from Barnes: “I absolutely expect to contact my staff when on holiday. If they don’t want the job, there are thousands who do. Myself included, can we really afford not to work all the hours in this economic climate? I think not. I know I feel better knowing that things are ticking over nicely whilst I’m away so I don’t come back to an unmanageable workload.”
We seem to have changed to a nation of workaholics. Only 23% (a jump from the survey conducted just 8 months ago from 35%) of respondents have no contact whatsoever with work during their holiday which puts them firmly in the minority.
Although on the surface this may seem like a good trend, especially for cash struck organisations, we deal with the aftermath from these industrious workers when company secrets have gone AWOL. The reality is that when corporate information is accessed from a mobile device, whether it’s personal or company owned, and it’s misplaced there are consequences.
Who is to blame? Is it the employee who just can’t let go or the employer for making them feel that they have to be accessible in the first place? Regardless of why it’s happening, my advice to the corporate world is: if you expect to contact your staff while away then it is down to you to secure their devices.
Especially as the Information Commissioner’s Office are under pressure to flex its muscle and fine up to £500K for data breaches. Take the opportunity to re-evaluate your security – especially of your mobile devices, and perhaps invest in some holiday insurance of your own.