A new survey from Lightspeed Research reveals that almost half of British workers who took a holiday worked while they were away.The results suggest that British workers are feeling over-stretched and under-supported.

The main reason for working on holiday was to avoid work piling up, cited by 43% of respondents. A tenth of those taking the survey feel that their boss expects them to work on holiday; an unhappy 6% fear they will lose their jobs if they don’t work on their break; and 10% don’t trust others to cover for them.

For those who work on holiday, the time they devote to work related activities is not insignificant. The majority of those who work on holiday spend on average 10% of their vacation working – the equivalent of more than half a day in a typical seven-day break. But for a fifth, work occupies 11-20% of their holiday – up to one and a half days.

According to the survey, 19% hardly receive a break at all, with work intruding on most days of their holiday, while 6% find themselves working every day. As a result, hotel rooms are being transformed into virtual offices, with 58% of those who work on holiday do so from their hotel room. In second place at 23% are internet cafes, 22% work on the move – on the plane, train or bus and 16% admit to working by the pool or at the beach.

The company's European marketing director, Ralph Risk, said: “These results suggest that for many Brits holidays are no longer a time of rejuvenation and relaxation. Although they are physically away from the office, they are still held on an 'electronic leash' to their desks, with email, calls and texting keeping many in regular touch with the office.

"While technology has made keeping in touch easier, work is definitely encroaching into holidays, making it difficult for employees to completely switch off from the office.”

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