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'Tis the Season for Americans to Work Too Hard

We CMSWire kids are already winding down this week in preparation for Thanksgiving, but according to a recent survey from Xobni (news, site), pumping the brakes for the holiday season is a luxury denied to many. The culprit? Good ol' e-mail. 

It Sucks…

The online survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Xobni between November 5th and November 9th of this year, and calculated the feedback from a total of 2,179 adults ages 18 and older.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • 59 percent of American adults check work e-mails during traditional family holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • 55 percent of these adults check work e-mail at least once a day
  • 28 percent of these adults check their e-mail multiple times throughout the day

…And We Know it…

Unsurprisingly, 41 percent of the individuals that reported receiving work e-mails during their time off claimed to be either annoyed, frustrated or resentful afterwards. Younger adults exhibited the strongest opinion, with 56 percent between ages 18 and 34 claiming these reactions compared to just 39 percent of adults ages 35-44 and 30 percent ages 45-54.

The survey also found that 12 percent of respondents "dread" seeing work e-mails in their inbox, and 10 percent pity those who send such e-mails on holidays.

Xobni and Harris Interactive did a similar survey back in September which examined the habits of 2,200 workers in both the U.S. and the UK. At least 50 percent of American respondents admitted to checking e-mail during vacation days, falling in line with the more recent reports. 

And we wonder why we're all stressed. 

…But It's Still Getting Worse

In spite of it all, 42 percent of those that check work e-mail during holidays still believe that staying up-to-date eases their workloads once the break is over. On an even more disturbing note, 19 percent of the respondents in the latest survey that ever received work e-mails during holidays cited feeling "thankful" or "relieved" at having the distraction.

If you're among those that think tools for lowering information overload will help keep us away from our inboxes at some point in the future, think again. With the merging of e-mail and social networking, the outlook for reducing the level of information consumption during so-called "down time" is pretty bleak. 

Will you be excusing yourself from the table this year to check your e-mail? Or, worse yet, will you just pull out your mobile device and do it right there during dinner? 

 
 
 
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