Addicted to work

A third of UK workers stay connected while on holiday and one in five UK workers haven’t taken a holiday in the last year.

One in three UK employees1 are not switching off from work while on holiday, with mobiles and tablets keeping people constantly connected.

Woman at an airport on a mobile phone with a red suitcase
One in ten UK employees take their laptop or tablet on holiday to do work

A study by Aviva  has discovered a quarter (26%) of UK employees1 who have been on holiday in the last year read, replied to, or sent a work-related email whilst away. 

Nearly a fifth (18%) used their mobile for a work-related call or text message, while one in ten (10%) took their laptop or tablet with them in order to do work.

Percentage of workers who have not been on holiday over the last 12 months

















One in three people have had their holiday interrupted by a work-related activity. This can lead to people switching back into ‘work mode’, undoing the good work that time away allows.

Aviva's Medical Director, Dr Doug Wright, says that all employees should consider the long-term implications on their health and wellbeing if they allow themselves to be contacted while on leave.

"All employees should consider the long-term implications on their health and wellbeing if they allow themselves to be contacted while on leave. One in three people have had their holiday interrupted by a work-related activity. This can lead to people switching back into ‘work mode’, therefore undoing the good work that time away allows.

I would like to encourage all employees to make a conscious effort to avoid checking work emails or taking work-related calls whilst on leave. These are habits that can be changed and being able to fully switch off from work remains vital for a sustainable work-life balance."

1 Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey, November 2017, results based on 456 working respondents (full-time, part-time, self-employed) who have been on holiday over the last 12 months

2 Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey, November 2017, 569 working respondents (full-time, part-time, self-employed).  

The Aviva Consumer Attitudes Survey interviews c.1,000 adults aged 18 using online panels in each country surveyed except China (1,514 interviews), where the survey is conducted face to face and online (10,526 interviews in total). Countries surveyed include:  UK, Ireland, France, Poland, Italy, Turkey, Singapore, China, Canada, and USA. A quota sample was interviewed with quotas set by age, gender, region and income by country. Data is weighted to the known profile of the population in each country. The research was conducted by Ipsos MORI between 15 November 2017 and 9 January 2018.


Monique Crockett | 07800 693182 |

Sarah Poulter| 07800 691569|

Notes to editors:

  • For information on how Aviva is helping our people, customers and communities impacted by COVID-19 visit:
  • We exist to be with people when it really matters, throughout their lives. We have been taking care of people for 325 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’. In 2020, we paid £30.6 billion in claims and benefits to our customers. 
  • Aviva is invested in our people, our customers, our communities and our planet. In 2021, we announced our plan to become a Net Zero carbon emissions company by 2040, the first major insurance company in the world to do so. This plan means Net Zero carbon emissions from our investments by 2040; setting out a clear pathway to get there with a cut of 25% in the carbon intensity of our investments by 2025 and of 60% by 2030; and Net Zero carbon emissions from our own operations and supply chain by 2030. Aviva has been leading this agenda for decades: Aviva was the first international insurer to go operationally carbon neutral in 2006 and we are champions of renewable energy and energy storage at our offices, allowing us to achieve our 2030 carbon reduction target (70% reduction on 2010 levels) 10 years early. Find out more about our climate goals at and our sustainability ambition at
  • Aviva is a Living Wage and Living Hours employer and provides market-leading benefits for our people, including flexible working, paid carers leave and equal parental leave. Find out more at
  • We are focused on the UK, Ireland and Canada where we have leading market positions and significant potential. We will invest for growth in these markets. We will also transform our performance and improve our efficiency. Our transformation will be underpinned by managing our balance sheet prudently, reducing debt and increasing our financial resilience. We also have strategic investments in Singapore, China and India.
  • At 30 June 2021, total Group assets under management at Aviva Group are £522 billion and our Solvency II shareholder capital surplus is £12 billion. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.
  • For more details on what we do, our business and how we help our customers, visit 
  • The Aviva newsroom at includes links to our spokespeople images, podcasts, research reports and our news release archive. Sign up to get the latest news from Aviva by email. 
  • You can follow us on:
  • Twitter:
  • LinkedIn:
  • Instagram:
  • For the latest corporate films from around our business, subscribe to our YouTube channel:

      Interested in our research?