‘Tis the Season to Check Work Email


For many U.S. workers, this holiday season may turn out to be just like those of the past—working holidays.

U.S. workers will be glued to their smartphones this holiday season, as a recent survey found that 68% of those with work email will check it on holidays this year. More surprisingly, out of the 2,800 working adults surveyed by Xobni, 19% of workers said they appreciate the distraction and look forward to receiving work-related emails.

Out of those who are fixated on work during the holidays, 79% reported having received emails on past holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, and 27% will check work email more than once.

The survey also found an age gap in perceptions toward work emails on family holidays. More adults ages 18-34 reported feeling frustrated over work-related holiday emails (41%) when compared to those above the age of 55 (17%). Overall, 37% are annoyed by messages from colleagues on holidays, down from 41% last year.

With more and more employers providing workers with cellphones capable of accessing email, it is familiar to hear that a large majority of U.S. workers expect to check work email on holidays. According to a report from iPass, 95% of workers who use anything from a laptop to a cellphone for work reasons own a smartphone, and 91% of these mobile workers use smartphone devices to keep up with work.

The workaholics glued to their work email may have a method to their madness, as the Xobni survey found that 41% check their email on holidays in order to lessen their workload for when they return to the office. But some workers are merely looking for an escape hatch at holiday gatherings. One in ten respondents between the ages of 18 and 44 said they stay up to date with work-related messages while spending time with friends and family, and 6% admitted to using work email to avoid holiday commitments.