Smartphones ruining your holiday?
August 24th, 2011 by elisa

Blackberry photo by Ian Lamont at

Smartphones are ruining our holidays, relationships and not helping with the work life balance according to research from Spring Technology. The IT recruitment company polled 1000 workers on their attitudes to checking emails on holiday and outside work, and found that the technology which is meant to free us from the shackles of the office is really backfiring.

Almost a quarter of people (24%) confess to checking their work emails once or more a day while on holiday, continuing to work while they should be working on their tan. This phenomenon is creating tension in our personal lives, as 70 per cent agree that checking work emails while on holiday damages relationships.

Men and women alike are frustrated as romantic moments are ruined by the familiar ping of a smartphone. Over a third of respondents in Yorkshire (39%) felt particularly strongly that the habit could ruin relationships. Personal relationships may not be the only ones under strain, responding to emails while on holiday can also create tensions with work colleagues.

Richard Protherough, director at Spring Technology says: “Many employees may feel they are just being conscientious, but responding to work emails on holiday can infer a lack of trust in your team. After giving a thorough handover, it’s important to let go and let colleagues deal with any queries.

“Alongside sticky notes and the PC, smartphones have earned their place as a standard piece of office equipment. But smartphone etiquette is still unclear. Employers need to make known their expectations around employees’ smartphone use outside of office hours. For most, smartphones are intended to allow employees to remain productive when travelling between offices, not when lying on the beach.”

So, have you fallen victim to the smartphone holiday phenomenon? I don’t own one for just this reason, I find it difficult enough to have my computer in the living room at home to be able to switch off from work, let alone having something I can carry with me!

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