Many Aussies Struggle With Leaving Work Behind While On Holidays

Having internet access while on holidays can be handy for planning and leisure, but it also makes us more vulnerable to checking up on work at the same time. A survey suggests that many of us succumb to that temptation, with two-thirds saying they have taken advantage of technology to work during breaks.

The survey of 500 Australian workers, commissioned by HR advisory firm NorthgateArinso, also found that 30% of people worked during their daily commute. I do that myself, and I don’t think that’s problematic in and of itself; the issue is being sure your employer recognises that this is part of your work routine.

Similarly, the problem with working on holidays is partly a question of scale. There’s a big difference between looking at your email once during a week-long vacation and dedicating time to it every day. The former ideally wouldn’t happen, but shouldn’t wreck the holiday for you or fellow travellers; the latter definitely suggests a problem.


  • I’ve never had a problem with leaving work at the office. Maybe its due to the fact that I’m yet to hold a position that I *really* enjoy; but I don’t define myself by what I do, nor do I feel that a job will overwhelm me if I don’t paid it additional attention outside my standard hours. If the latter were to happen, then I see that more as a failing of my employer being able to adequately control the flow of work delegated to me, than a personal failing on me to dedicate enough time to a task.

    Jobs to me, are just that – jobs.

  • Simple, if you have a work phone, leave it a work/home, if you have a work laptop, leave it at home/work before you go on holidays. Thats what holidays are for, to recharge the batteries, its your right.

  • I can relate to this. I got key clients line QLD rail and Garmin & when certain work isn’t completed it affects THEIR client el as well mine. I often finish work get home and get back to work or log in on the weekend to answer a few emails.

    I used to have a simple job but I found with a job with this kind of responsibility I enjoy it at the same as by my word alone I make significant changes in services and products so serious jobs have there own rewards(aside from money).

  • I tend to keep my work phone on me all the time since I’m the sole IT staff member, but almost all the people I work with are fairly considerate about that – I probably get one call a week after hours, and maybe two per week if I’m on holiday.

    Given my work overlaps with my personal time anyway (server patching/updates after hours), I just let my personal time take up a certain amount of work time instead. My boss is fairly flexible with time management, so it works well.

  • Perhaps this is more of a small business owner’s problem. Australia is known for being a country of small businesses. The problem is, when you go on holidays, you don’t get paid. Also, you always seem to remember a critical, undone task just as you duck out the door.

    The key to a good holiday for me is (1) Pick a time of year when you know it is quiet. (2) Warn all your clients and associates well in advance such that they will feel guilty if they bug you.

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