Irish workers can’t switch off

Dublin, 24 July 2013 – Irish business professionals are so married to their work that they can’t even switch off on holiday. This year many of the country’s professionals will be more likely to be found working away on their laptops than sipping cocktails on the beach with their families during their summer break.

A new poll has revealed that over half plan to work during their summer holiday (54%), with activity levels going well beyond simply monitoring emails. Two in five will take phone calls and attend to tasks that they consider tantamount to ‘business as usual’.

According to the research, commissioned by global workspace provider Regus, over two fifths of holidaying professionals will put in between one and three hours each day for their job and one in ten will spend over 3 hours.

The results show that, globally, men are more prone to taking ‘workations’ than women, with 42% of professional men taking their usual workload on holiday compared to a lesser, but still significant third (34%) of professional women.

Indicating the continuing economic pressure in the Irish jobs market, the proportion of workers who plan to maintain their usual workload on holiday has risen by over 10% since last summer.

Olivier de Lavalette, Regional Vice President for Ireland at Regus said: “Working on holiday is usually portrayed in negative terms, as a symptom of our ‘always on’ culture and the pressure facing staff in the economic downturn. Certainly it can be a sign that workers are overstretched, stressed and insecure in their jobs. But workations are becoming part of life for the growing number of entrepreneurs and small business owners who simply cannot switch off - and may not want to.

“While this dedication may be admirable, a work-life balance is also important for you and your loved ones. If you must take work with you, the key to a happy holiday is to impose rigid rules: Limit work to certain hours in the morning and consider using flexible workspace in the locality so that work is productive and doesn’t encroach on family time.”

The main findings:

  • 43% of Irish professionals plan to work one to three hours every day of their main summer holiday
  • A further 11% will work over 3 hours
  • Total proportion of professionals who plan to work on holiday = 54%
  • 39% of the above consider that their work on holiday will become tantamount to ‘business as usual’ (comparative figure to last year – 28%)


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