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Survey: Little White Lies Save the Day While Away

Half of working Americans would lie about cell reception and wi-fi access to avoid work calls and email on vacation

by Business Traveler

August 21, 2019

When it comes to doing business while on vacation, little white lies about Wi-Fi are becoming more acceptable than ever. In a recent survey conducted by Allianz Global Assistance, it was revealed that (49%) of working Americans avoid checking into the office while on vacation.

Then, as a phenomenon called “email creep,” or work obligations that encroach on personal time, is now affecting some two thirds (65%) of workers, claiming limited phone service or Wi-Fi in a vacation destination has become the excuse du jour for employees.

Most likely to use the excuse are Millennials (59%), followed by Gen X’ers (49%) and Boomers (32%). While men and women are equally honest, with no difference between the sexes at 49% each, those earning more than $50,000 a year are significantly more likely (53%) to use the excuse compared to those earning less than $50,000 (39%).

Who is the most likely person to pull the “I’m cutting out” excuse? A white (53%), college-educated (50%) Millennial (59%) who is married (53%) with children (53%) and working full time (50%) for an annual salary more than $50,000(53%) in the Northeast (53%).

A quarter of all working Americans (24%) make a point not to go on vacation in places where poor cell reception or Wi-Fi access could disrupt their connection to the office.

Millennials (74%) are the most likely to check email while on vacation, but the rate is also high for Gen X’ers (58%) and Boomers (63%), with the most common reason: it makes catching up on work easier when returning to the office (34%).

Despite the pressures to stay “online” and connected to the office while on vacation, the majority of working Americans (54%) would choose to work even more while away if it meant they were able to take more vacations throughout the year, with Millennials (64%) more likely choosing the more vacations with more checking in at work scenario. Boomers, meanwhile, were more likely (54%) to prefer fewer vacations if it means they could be unplugged from the office.

“Most working Americans feel pressured to spend their vacations attached to their work email, when they may just need a few days to unplug. Consequently, half of U.S. workers are willing to lie about lack of connectivity to set them free from work obligations,” said Daniel Durazo, director of marketing and communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA in a statement. “For travelers seeking a carefree getaway from the grind, trip insurance offers peace of mind and 24/7 global assistance to help them stay cool and collected when faced with covered travel disruptions.”

Methodology: These are findings of an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 Americans from the Ipsos I-Say panel was interviewed from May 1-2, 2019.