Poll shows most executives still work while on vacation

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Executives may be checking laptops and PDAs as often as football scores and weather reports this holiday season. In a recent survey, more than three-quarters (76 percent) of executives said they attend to office duties at least a few times a week while on vacation; 33 percent said they conduct business every day when away from the office. When the same question was asked of employees in a separate survey, only one-quarter (26 percent) of respondents said they attend to business matters when taking time off. The majority of workers surveyed (54 percent) said they never work during their vacations.

The two surveys were developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. They were conducted by an independent research firm and include responses from 150 senior executives at the nation's 1,000 largest companies, and 559 full- or part-time workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.

Executives and employees were each asked, "How often do you work while on vacation?" Their responses:

                      Managers      Employees
  Every day                33%            10%
  A few times a week       43%            16%
  Rarely                   20%            18%
  Never                     4%            54%
  Don't know                0%             2%
                          100%           100%

"Executives may find it difficult to completely disconnect from their jobs as they often have a wide range of responsibilities and few people who can assume their duties while they're away," said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam. "Advances in technology make it possible to stay connected to the office 24/7, but everyone needs time to recharge or they may return from their breaks as weary as when they left."

OfficeTeam offers the following five tips for taking the "work" out of vacations:

  *Time it right. If possible, schedule a break during a traditionally calm
   time in your office. For example, the last week of December might be
   quieter than usual because clients and customers also may be taking time
   off. Submit vacation requests early to secure your desired dates.
  *Get the word out. Tell clients and customers about your holiday plans and
   provide the names of team members to contact in your absence. Use your
   e-mail's out-of-office function to let people know you're away.
  *Assign a decision maker. Designate someone whose judgment you trust to
   make decisions while you're on vacation. Let that person know where key
   information is kept and how your files are organized.
  *Unplug. While it's tempting to bring your laptop or PDA with you,
   consider leaving these devices at home unless absolutely necessary. If
   you bring them, leave them in your room and check them only periodically.
  *Establish office hours. If you must check in with the office, plan ahead.
   Provide your team with the days and times you'll be checking messages so
   you can avoid interruptions or the feeling that you're "on call."
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