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Thanksgiving won't keep most Americans away from their work e-mail, study says

November 23, 2010 |  2:29 pm


What will you be reaching for this Thanksgiving? A plate of turkey with a side of BlackBerry?

A scoop of mashed potatoes and a serving of iPhone? Candied yams and an Android?

Well, if you you're like most Americans, you'll be checking your work e-mail on a smart phone or a computer over Thanksgiving and other holidays this year, according to a new survey conducted by research firm Harris Interactive.

Harris found that 79% of U.S. working adults say they have been sent work-related e-mails over a holiday and 59% say they will be checking their work e-mail this holiday season.

Of those 59% e-mail checkers, 55% said they peek in their inbox for work messages at least once a day, while 28% admitted to checking e-mails multiple times a day.

For some, the sight of a work e-mail alongside some cranberry sauce isn't a bad thing -- 15% said they were thankful or relieved to have the distraction of work e-mail during the holidays, the survey said.

Others don't view work messages in their inbox so happily -- 41% who get work-related e-mails over a holiday say it frustrates or annoys them.

Younger adults, ages 18 to 34, are most likely -- 56% -- to be irritated by work e-mails on their off-days.

Even worse, about 12% of those surveyed said they actually "dread" getting any work e-mails during a holiday.

In spite of all that, 42% of those who check for work e-mails over holidays said they believe it's important to stay in-the-know with work e-mails despite a little vacation time.

Men are most likely to check their work e-mails during breaks, 67%, compared with 50% of women.

Middle-aged adults feel the greatest urge to scan their inboxes, with 65% of those age 35 to 44 confessing to having checked for work e-mails over a holiday.

The survey was conducted in November and 2,179 adults in the U.S., ages 18 and older, were polled by Harris Interactive on behalf of Xobni, a company that makes e-mail contact organization software.


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Photo: A man looks at his e-mail on a BlackBerry. Credit: Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images