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61 percent of Americans say they'll work during vacations

Thanks to the infinite reach of technology, a majority of Americans resignedly accept they are a sad cog in capitalism's big wheel. At least according to TeamViewer's annual study.

2 min read
This is Iggy Pop lying next to me on the beach during my last vacation. I think it was a business call. Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's not easy to use your keyboard when you've just slathered oodles of Factor 30 over your rotund body.

It's not easy to focus on sales figures and online ad rate projections when you're sipping a local concoction and talking surfing with an instructor who says his name is Fabio.

Yet the majority of Americans are accepting that there's one thing they will have to do on their summer vacations: juggle pleasure with work.

I am grateful to an annual study performed on behalf of TeamViewer which, stunningly, is a company that pays for its vacations by selling software for remote support and online meetings.

In 2012, this painful survey revealed that 52 percent of Americans expected to perform some form of work drudgery during what was supposed to be their downtime.

In 2013, that figure has bloated to 61 percent.

You might well be packing your skintight swimsuit, Spandex and Spanx at this very moment, dreaming of chilling gelati and swilling sangria.

In which case you might have sympathy with the 34 percent of respondents who claimed they would "do the work, but not happily" while on vacation.

As if anyone does work happily these days. Well, except at Google.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents insisted that thinking about work while making elaborate sandcastles shows that "the boss doesn't respect my time."

But what do they expect in the always on, always connected, always social-and-networking times in which we live?

Some might feel admiration at the 13 percent of respondents who insisted they would be turning off their devices.

Then there's the 22 percent who claimed that if asked to work on vacation they would say: "Bog off." This is a colloquial phrase from my home town of Birmingham, England.

It means, roughly, no. Very roughly.

Still, a painful 69 percent admitted that they would be taking a work-capable device with them, as they set off with their loving families, lovers or great-aunts to peaceful climes.

But perhaps you're among those who aren't happy with their jobs. Perhaps you feel you're a lot more than the title "Business Intelligence Manager" implies. Perhaps you know in your heart that you should really be "Business Intelligence Director."

You might, therefore, want to follow the example of the 6 percent of fine American workers who dream of a better life.

They are the ones who said that when they return to their villas and hotel rooms after a bubbly day snorkeling or communing with llamas, they will be updating their resumes.