Working Through the Holidays

by Ellen Lee on December 20, 2010
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Will you be working over the holidays? If so, you’re in good company.

Eight out of 10 small business professionals say they plan to work during this year’s winter holiday period, according to a survey from Egnyte, a startup that offers online file server tools.

For better or worse, today’s technology has made it easier and easier to bring work home and on the road, from keeping tabs on incoming messages via a smart phone to accessing data remotely through the Internet. Remote work is especially common this time of the year.

Only 24 percent of those polled said they plan to work at the office during the holidays, the Egnyte survey found. Instead, 80 percent will work from a home or home office, 31 percent will work at the home of an extended family member, and 31 percent will work while on the road.

Most — 83 percent — will access their work via their smart phone. 76 percent will use a laptop.

In a similar survey by Xobni (that’s “inbox” spelled backwards), which develops tools to manage your email, 59 percent of employed American adults say they check work emails during traditional family holidays such as Christmas. More than half check email at least once a day and a neurotic 28 percent do so multiple times a day.

It seems that 42 percent of those who check email during vacation time believe that staying up-to-date on email will ease their workloads and make it less grueling to get back to work after the holidays. For 19 percent, it’s actually a welcome distraction, saying they feel “thankful” or “relieved” for receiving work emails from a co-worker or client during their time off.

What’s more, one in 10 say that they check their e-mail while spending time with their friends and family during holiday gatherings. And 5 percent use it as an excuse to avoid awkward family moments and other holiday commitments. Finally, never mind the manners: 4 percent say they will be checking email right from the dinner table.

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