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Fifty-two percent expect to work on vacation, survey says

The ease with which gadgets allow bosses to corral employees on the beach and even in the sauna means that the majority of people now expect to have to work on vacation.

2 min read
A photo from my last vacation. Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The work-life balance often seems like a seesaw, with a grossly overfed boss sitting at one end.

There seems little respect either for personal time or even vacation time, because your time isn't your time. It's time you sold to the highest bidder.

So much so that the majority of U.S. employees expect to have to work on vacation. Well, it is paid vacation, isn't it?

I am privileged to have been passed a survey commissioned by TeamViewer. This is a company that is officially responsible for remote access software, but is uncommonly dedicated to commissioning Harris Interactiveto perform fascinating surveys.

This one showed that 52 percent of Americans expect to be working -- in one way or another -- while attempting to allow some sun, sea, and sense into their heads.

The method of delivery varies. But the ease with which technology makes it possible seems to have made it inevitable.

A disturbing 30 percent expect to be reading work-related e-mails. A staggeringly painful 23 percent expect to receive work-related phone calls.

And a quite nauseating 13 percent expect both to suddenly want access to a document on a work computer and to be asked to do actual work by a boss, client, or colleague.

It does appear -- within this survey of more than 2,200 adults -- that men expect to work more than women and that those on the West Coast expect to be reading work e-mails far more than those living, say, in the South.

Moreover, single people expect to be called while slathering on the sunscreen more than the marrieds.

Perhaps the marrieds, being marrieds, still bathe in optimism and naivete.

It is, though, unfortunate that this expectation exists at all. How can any human being switch off when they are never switched off? How can any boss constantly demand things of others and expect that they will be somehow refreshed when they return from vacation?

Might it just be possible that, with a surfeit of people looking for work, bosses are rather happy to burn them out and then cast them off in favor of a cheaper, more eager substitute when the bags under their eyes are level with their top lips?

How many times do CEOs make presentations that declare that their greatest asset is their people?

Even a car needs servicing sometimes.