"Apologies for my delayed response; I was out of office without Internet access." For some workers, being out of office on vacation also means being out of range for Wi-Fi and cellphone service — or at least that's what they want you to think.
A recent survey found nearly half of workers would lie to their bosses about not having reception in order to avoid checking work email while away.
According to the 2019 Vacation Confidence Index released by Allianz Global Assistance, millennials are most likely to use the excuse, with 59% saying they'd fib in order to temper the expectation of checking in while traveling. The next generation most likely to lie are Gen Xers (49%), followed by boomers (32%).
Despite their willingness to lie, millennials are also the most likely to actually fire up their work email while they're supposed to be unplugging, with 74% saying they do so. But for the most part, it's not because their bosses expect them to be online.
Instead, workers of all ages are most likely to check email while on vacation because it makes it easier to catch up on work when they're back in the office. The pressure of falling behind is another major reason workers say they'd prefer taking a three-day weekend trip rather than a longer getaway to unwind.
Working vacations, on which travelers set boundaries around logging a few hours while at their destination, might be a compromise to ease the stress that can come with taking time off. Given the option, 54% of workers would prefer to go on more vacations but check in on work more often, rather than take less time off where they're completely disconnected.
Gen Xers are most likely to leave work entirely at the office, with 42% saying they don't check email at all.
Overall, two in three workers across generations say "email creep," or the pressure to stay connected while on vacation, has impacted their personal time. And yet a quarter of working Americans surveyed say they avoid destinations where poor reception could disrupt their ability to check in at the office.
"Most working Americans feel pressured to spend their vacations attached to their work email, when they may just need a few days to unplug," said Daniel Durazo, director of marketing and communications at Allianz, in a release. "Consequently, half of U.S. workers are willing to lie about lack of connectivity to set them free from work obligations."
But if you're spending more time on work email than relaxing during your last poolside lounge of the season? Here's every excuse you've ever made for not unplugging on vacation — busted.
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