Working Instead of Playing

Korn Ferry Survey Finds Half of Professionals Argue with Their Spouse About Staying Too Connected to the Office During Vacation

-- Nearly Two-Thirds Have Cut Short or Cancelled Vacations Due to Work Pressures -- Only 2 Percent Do Not Check in With the Office While Away -- Nearly Three-Quarters Would Prefer More Salary to More Vacation Days --

Editor’s Note: Survey Responses at End of News Release

Los Angeles, Aug. 9, 2018– As millions of Americans flock to beaches, national parks and big-city tourist attractions to sneak in late summer vacations, a new Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY) survey of professionals finds that working when they are supposed to be relaxing creates family conflict.

Half of the respondents to the July 2018 survey said that being too connected to work has created disagreements with their spouse.

According to the survey, staying in touch with work is more the norm than the exception. Nearly half (48 percent) of those surveyed said they check in with the office multiple times a day, and only 2 percent say they never check in while on vacation. A full third of respondents say they work while on vacation because they enjoy it.

“Those who feel they must always be in touch with the office are missing a critical point,” said Korn Ferry Senior Principal Mark Royal. “Professionals who can turn off the demands of work – even for short periods of time – will be more engaged and productive in the long run.”

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (63 percent) say they have cut short vacations due to occupational demands and pressure to perform at work. Nearly half (45 percent) do not plan on using all of their vacation time, and nearly three quarters (73 percent) said they would prefer a higher salary to more vacation days.

“Clearing the deck for a week off is hard work. But planning better for downtime and negotiating set plug-in times with family and friends when keeping in contact with the office is a must,” said Royal. “It can help professionals focus on the scenery instead of the screen.”

About the survey

There were 1,454 responses to the online executive survey, which took place in July 2018. Please note that due to rounding responses may not equal 100 percent.

Survey Responses

While on vacation, how often do you connect to work?

Multiple times a day - 48 percent
Once a day - 31 percent
A few times per week - 14 percent
Once a week - 4 percent
Never - 2 percent

While on vacation, have you ever had a disagreement with your spouse about being too connected to work

Yes 50 percent
No 50 percent

If you work while on vacation, what’s your primary reason for doing so?

Too much work to do/Increased workload upon return - 25 percent
Putting out fires: I get pulled into critical issues - 37 percent
I enjoy it - 33 percent
I worry people will make wrong decisions without my input - 4 percent
I worry other people will get assignments I want - 1 percent

After returning to work from vacation, how long does it typically take you to “get back into the swing of things?”

No time - 34 percent
One day - 52 percent
One week - 14 percent
Two weeks - 0 percent
More than a month - 0 percent

Do you plan to use all of your available vacation time in 2017?

Yes - 55 percent
No - 45 percent

Would you rather have a salary increase or more vacation days?

Salary increase - 73 percent
More vacation days - 27 percent

Have you cancelled, delayed or cut short personal vacation plans due to occupational demands or pressure to perform at work?

Yes - 63 percent
No - 37 percent

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We help clients synchronize strategy and talent to drive superior performance. We work with organizations to design their structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people to bring their strategy to life. And we advise them on how to reward, develop, and motivate their people.