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Build Your Career Work-Life Balance

Checking E-mail on American Workers' Holiday Agenda

Don’t be surprised if one or more of your holiday guests this year slips away from the table to log on to a computer or to check their smartphone. The majority of employed American adults (59 percent) check work e-mails during family time during holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, a new survey shows. The worst offenders, the survey found, are employed men.

More than half of those who check their work e-mail during the holidays (55 percent) do so at least once a day, the survey reported, and more than one in four (28 percent) do so repeatedly throughout the day.  Most of them won’t find an empty inbox ; 79 percent of people who check say they have received a work-related e-mail from a colleague or client during the holidays.

Employed males are significantly more likely to check work e-mail during holidays . Two-thirds (67 percent) of them told researchers they checked for e-mail during the holidays versus only half (50 percent) of women. Employed middle-aged adults feel the greatest urge, with 65 percent of those aged 35 to 44 saying that they checked work e-mail during holidays.

And while the East and West Coasts are supposedly the bicoastal bastions of hard-charging capitalism, the South wins by a nose when it comes to checking e-mail during the holidays; 63 percent of survey respondents there said they check e-mail during the holidays, versus 57 percent in the West and 59 percent in the Northeast.

Not surprisingly, according to study sponsor Xobni, which produces a mailbox add-in for Microsoft Outlook, this intrusion of the workplace into the holidays generates some backlash. Four out of ten (41 percent) of workers who have received work e-mails while they had time off for the holidays said that they were either annoyed , frustrated or resentful after receiving the e-mails.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith
Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.