Living in ‘Workation Nation’

Beach and Laptop - 177385017One week from today, many (but not all) of us will mark the unofficial end of the summer season by not coming to work.

However, it appears that, even when we’re on vacation, the labor goes on … and on … .

At least that’s according to the inaugural Workation Nation Survey from PGi, a global leader in virtual meetings for more than 20 years, found that 42 percent of 588 U.S. employees surveyed choose to check in with the office once a day while on vacation, and 40 percent report checking in multiple times a day.

These findings, the company says, illustrate a growing trend within the U.S. workforce, as only a small percentage of employees disconnect when on vacation. In fact, only 10 percent reported they “never” check in with the office, and another eight percent reported they were unable to take a vacation.

“The majority of today’s workers stay connected while on vacation, and they want tools that allow them to effectively manage their work responsibilities and quickly return to their vacation,” said Sean O’Brien, PGi executive vice president, Strategy & Communications [and no relation to this post’s author].

The survey finds smartphones (40 percent) are the most common device employees bring with them to stay connected to work, followed by laptops (11 percent) and tablets (4 percent). Hyper-connected employees are also common, with 37 percent of respondents reporting they bring a smartphone, laptop and tablet with them on vacation in order to check in with the office.

“The survey findings illustrate an increasingly accepted norm in which the lines between work and personal lives are blurring,” said O’Brien. “It’s indicative of a trend we’re seeing in the market as ‘work’ becomes less about the place you go, but more closely aligned with getting the job done. As remote working continues to gain momentum, employees and employers will increasingly rely on technology that allows teams to effectively collaborate with each other no matter where they are.”