While Canadians and people in general tend to go away on vacation so they can escape the daily grind, a new poll indicates that many can't help but take at least a portion of their work life with them.
According to a recent study conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of travel service Expedia, nearly two-thirds of Canadians - 62 percent - say they regularly or occasionally do work-related tasks while on vacation, such as checking office email or listening to voicemail messages on their work phone. This was most common among Atlantic Canadians, as 64 per cent admitted to these type of work-related activities.
Sean Shannon, managing director for Expedia Canada, said the survey's findings are a strong indication that many Canadians have a hard time creating a healthy balance between recreation and work.
"This year's survey has highlighted the continuing trend of workers struggling to 'power off' from work and instead focus on enjoying their vacation," said Shannon. "It seems that for a sizeable number of Atlantic Canadians, it's hard to not use technology like smartphones on vacation to ensure projects are running smoothly back at the office, but we shouldn't underestimate the benefits of a vacation on our physical and mental well-being - both at home and at work."
While many Canadians take a portion of their employment with them on vacation, the poll also found that Canadians tend to use most of the days that are allotted to them. For instance, of the 16 days the typical Canadian gets for paid time off, 15 of those days are used. However, compared to those in other regions, Atlantic Canadians tended to take fewer days off than what was allowed to them.
In comparison to other nations, however, Canada is a vacation-deprived country. Other countries whose workers often leave vacation days on the table include the United States, South Korea, Japan and Singapore. Meanwhile, those in European nations like Germany, France, Spain, Denmark and Brazil tend to take between 20 and 30 vacation days a year and rarely leave a vacation day unused.
For those who are able to get away, the survey also looked at the most desired vacation destinations, finding that most favoured going to the beach. This was true among Canadians and all of those polled.
Whether it’s the beach or some other destination, travel agents recommend vacationers plan their visits well in advance so they can research the area they are visiting, shop around for travel insurance and save up money for airfare and accommodations, among other things.