Planning on checking your emails from the beach or bach this
summer? You're not alone. New research puts Kiwis among the
nationalities most hooked on checking work messages during
Twenty-six per cent of Kiwis planned to take time out from
their holidays to keep in the loop with work, despite only 16
per cent of employees being expected to be available during
More than 400 New Zealanders were surveyed by HR and
recruitment company Randstad's Workmonitor, which collects
data from 221,048 people in 32 countries.
Kiwis' commitment to the job was on par with that of British
workers, but fell behind the third of Australians and 29 per
cent of Canadian employees who will not properly clock out.
When it came to expectations, the 16 per cent of New
Zealanders actually expected to be available during their
holiday was one of the lowest rates in the countries
In China, 58 per cent were expected to be available to
employers during the holiday period, 56 per cent in India and
40 per cent in Hong Kong.
The survey also found that 42 per cent of Kiwis stayed up to
date with office goings-on during the break, and 31 per cent
said they had trouble "letting go" of work tasks.
HR expert Tom O'Neill said that for many the inability to
switch off was a hangover from the recession.
"The global slowdown we had has almost forced many middle
managers and senior staff to do that because they think,
'Shivers, if I don't do that someone else is going to step up
and I am going to find myself in trouble'.
"So unfortunately I think it has conditioned a whole lot of
people to see it as acceptable when in actual fact they
should be switching off and really focusing on having the
Staying in the loop while out of the office helped no one, he
"They are doing themselves and their boss no favours by doing
this. They think they are, but all they are doing, they're
just really creating problems moving forward because they are
going to be tired, exhausted and never get the full benefit
of having a break."
Randstad NZ director Paul Robinson said despite employees'
intentions to remain productive over the holidays, it was
important they took time out to rejuvenate and unwind.
He suggested strategies such as leaving the laptop at work,
not looking at or responding to work emails, nominating "no
work" days and sharing responsibilities effectively around a
team to ensure a proper break.
Mr Robinson said it was also important workers who stayed on
during the summer break were rewarded appropriately.
"So for those who have to work, employers just need to ensure
the efforts of their employees are acknowledged and
How to avoid work
Survey shows 26% plan to take time out during their break to
check emails and keep in the loop with the office 5 ways to
'digital detox' on your vacation
Leave everything tidy and organised before you go, delegate
tasks and give out your mobile number only for an extreme
Adding an alternative contact person to your out-of-office
messages means your clients are still looked after and you
won't come back to hundreds of emails.
Ditch your smartphone, laptop and tablet. Leave your fancy
devices at home and take a basic model cellphone so you can
still be contacted if necessary - but can't access your
emails even if you try.
Getting engrossed in a new book, exploring new places and
organising holiday activities will help you take your mind
If something work-related pops into your head, write it down
so it's off your mind but ready to be addressed when you get
back to the office.
- Morgan Tait of the NZ Herald