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Many Americans Working on Their Summer Vacations

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Vacations may be a time to relax and unwind for some people, but among Americans vacationing this summer, nearly one-half (46%) say they plan to (or did) work on their vacation, according to a recent Adweek/Harris Poll.

Less than one-half of surveyed Americans (40%) say they are taking a vacation this summer; among them, 35% expect to (or did) monitor email while on their vacation, 22% plan to (or did) check voicemail, and 22% plan to (or did) take an occasional work-related phone call.

An unlucky but very small 1% of vacationing Americans connect with the sentiment: "What's a vacation?" because they work as if they are not on vacation at all.

But more than one-third (35%) of Americans vacationing this summer detach more fully and say they will not (or did not) do any work on their summer vacation, while 19% don't (or did not) expect to be employed at the time of their vacation.

Men are more likely than women to work on their summer vacation (54% vs. 37%) and among different age groups the chosen vacation-working style varies as well:

  • Vacationing adults age 35-44 are most likely to say they monitor emails (47% do vs. between 24% and 38% of all other age groups).
  • Adults age 45-54 are most likely to check voicemails (29% vs. between 15% and 25%) and the youngest group.
  • Adults age 18-34 are most likely to occasionally take phone calls (26% vs. between 17% and 22% of other age groups who do the same).

High-Tech Vacationing

Whether tech devices facilitate work or fun, over eight in ten Americans vacationing this summer (81%) say they will bring (or they brought) at least one tech device (listed) on their vacation, such as a laptop computer (50%), a smartphone (45%), and a an MP3 player (35%).

Fewer than one in five vacationing Americans bring eReader devices (16%), DVD players (14%) or tablet computers (12%) on their vacation.

Do Tech Devices Encourage Work, Reading?

Among those who bring a tablet computer on their summer vacation, 32% say it makes them more likely to do work on that vacation with one in five saying it makes them much more likely to do so (18%).

Most people, however, say bringing a tablet does not affect their likelihood to do work on vacation (62%) while a few say it makes them less likely to work (7%).

Among those who bring an e-reader device on vacation, 47% say they read more than when they're not on vacation, 37% read the same amount and 16% read less while on vacation.

In terms of low-tech media consumption, just 22% of Americans vacationing this summer say they read more magazines while on vacation, slightly fewer say they read less (14%) while 51% say their magazine-reading habits do not change on vacation; 13% never read magazines at all.

About the data: Findings are from an Adweek/Harris Poll survey of 3,304 US adults surveyed online, conducted by Harris Interactive, July 13-15, 2011.


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  • by SpencerBroome Fri Aug 19, 2011 via web

    Not surprising. It's the world we live in now, you have to be connected to some degree at all times.

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