Will You Check Your Work Email on Thanksgiving?

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Tis the season for family gatherings, holiday cheer…and work? A survey from Xobni finds that nearly 70 percent of Americans will make some time between watching the Detroit Lions and eating turkey this Thursday to check their work email.

I wrote a similar story this time last year citing the 2010 Xobni survey results. The 2011 survey finds that checking work email while on break for the holidays is trending up in general. The number reporting that they will check email has risen from 60 to 68 percent, with more than one in four stating that they will be checking work email multiple times throughout the day.

This infographic from Xobni depicts the results of the 2011 holiday email survey.
The fact that nearly seven in ten adults can’t just kick back and enjoy the holidays without checking work email may seem a bit much. As it turns out, though, eight out of ten report receiving work-related emails while out for the holidays, so apparently one in ten is getting email and may be missing important information or updates.

While the overall results are up, it turns out that there are actually fewer men planning to check work email. The number of men claiming they will check email has dropped nearly 10 percent from 67 percent in 2010 to 58 percent this year. That drop is being offset by a dwindling gender gap, and a rise in the number of adult females who will be checking their work email.

There is a small percentage--19 percent to be exact--of people who consider checking work email over the holidays to be a relief rather than a burden. It is a distraction for the noise, stress, and other family drama that typically comes with large family gatherings.

Still, many are checking work email on their personal time not as a welcome break from the hassle of celebrating, but out of a sense of obligation. Given the bleak economy and poor economic outlook in general, many are perpetually nervous about their future and feel a need to be constantly on the ball to prove their worth to their employer.

Xobni found that middle-aged workers are most likely to check work email at 58 percent. That may be a function of the fact that middle-aged workers are more likely to be managers or executives with greater scopes of responsibility, or a response to inherent fear of being pushed out for younger, cheaper talent…or both.

Will you check your work email during Thanksgiving or Christmas festivities? If so, will it be out of desire, or obligation? Do you feel internally driven to stay on top of things, or are you just concerned that being out of the loop could cost you your job?

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