The Lies That Bind

Little white lies about Wi-Fi are acceptable to half (49%) of working Americans avoiding checking into the office while on vacation while three in 10 Canadians (27%) admit to posting photos that make their vacation look better than it actually is, according to a pair of studies conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance. It seems the lies that bind us together is a willingness to fudge the facts about travel.

As “email creep,” referring to when work obligations encroach on personal time, affects two thirds (65%) of workers who feel the need to check-in with the office while on vacation, using limited phone service or Wi-Fi in a vacation destination has become the excuse du jour for employees this summer.

Most likely to use the excuse are Millennials (59%), followed by Gen X’ers (49%) and Boomers (32%). While men and women are equally honest, with no difference between the sexes at 49% each, those earning more than $50,000 a year are significantly more likely (53%) to use the excuse compared to those earning less than $50,000 (39%).

Who is the most likely person to pull the “I’m cutting out” excuse? A white (53%), college-educated (50%) Millennial (59%) who is married (53%) with children (53%) and working full time (50%) for an annual salary more than $50,000(53%) in the Northeast (53%).

A quarter of all working Americans (24%), meanwhile, make a point not to go on vacation in places where poor cell reception or Wi-Fi access could disrupt their connection to the office.

Millennials (74%) are the most likely to check email while on vacation, but the rate is also high for Gen X’ers (58%) and Boomers (63%), with the most common reason: it makes catching up on work easier when returning to the office (34%).

Despite the pressures to stay “online” and connected to the office while on vacation, the majority of working Americans (54%) would choose to work even more while away if it meant they were able to take more vacations throughout the year, with Millennials (64%) more likely choosing the more vacations with more checking in at work scenario. Boomers, meanwhile, were more likely (54%) to prefer fewer vacations if it means they could be unplugged from the office.

“Most working Americans feel pressured to spend their vacations attached to their work email, when they may just need a few days to unplug. Consequently, half of U.S. workers are willing to lie about lack of connectivity to set them free from work obligations,” said Daniel Durazo, director of marketing and communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “For travelers seeking a carefree getaway from the grind, trip insurance offers peace of mind and 24/7 global assistance to help them stay cool and collected when faced with covered travel disruptions.”

Canadians are not much different. Another study shows that half of Canadians say they check their office emails while travelling on vacation. Of those, 24 per cent say they do so at least once, if not several times, each day.

This Ipsos survey also revealed that men are the most likely to check their work emails, with 54 per cent responding affirmatively versus 44 per cent of women. However, the greatest differences were associated with age. Some 72 per cent of Millennials say they check their work emails while on vacation, compared with 42 per cent of GenXers and 32 per cent of Baby Boomers.

When asked if they chronicled their trip on social media, 44 per cent of Canadians answered‘yes,’ led by Millennials at 67 per cent, followed by GenXers at 48 per cent and Boomers at just 22 per cent.

The truth is a few little white lies probably doesn’t matter as most people north and south of the border remain connected to work even on their time off. So the lies that bin d are probably the ones they tell themselves when they say they won’t be chained to the office while on vacation.

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