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:

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