Accenture Survey Finds 83 Percent of U.S. Workers Stayed Connected to Their Offices While on Summer Vacation

Laptops & Cell Phones Join Sun Screens & Beach Toys

Palo Alto, CA., Sept. 1, 2000 -- What did you do on your summer vacation? Probably worked at least part of the time, according to a survey commissioned by Accenture. In fact, some 83 percent of U.S. workers who vacationed for seven or more days since April remained in contact with their office. What’s more, one in five workers spent more time staying in touch with their office this year than previous vacations.

The findings were gleaned from a nationwide telephone survey of full-time workers with household incomes of $75,000 or more. Most respondents -- 38 percent -- identified themselves as professional or managerial, with staff/clerical (14 percent) and senior executives (12 percent) the next largest segments. The remaining respondents were fairly evenly divided among the following categories: supervisory, self-employed, administrative and other positions.

"Staying connected is increasingly becoming a fact of life in the new economy," said Thomas H. Davenport, director of the Accenture’s Institute for Strategic Change. "The trend, enabled by the proliferation of mobile technologies, is another example of how digitization is transforming the office and home."

The survey found that 60 percent of workers brought a mobile technology on vacation, with cell phone (56 percent) topping the list, followed by laptop (16 percent) and pager (13 percent). Of those who brought a cell phone, 61 percent left the number with someone at work. Of those, 39 percent received a work-related call while on vacation.

"It’s crucial that we understand how technology is being used today. That’s why we conduct surveys such as this one," said Glover T. Ferguson, Jr., chief scientist, Accenture. "Findings spawn insight. This survey will help shape new ideas about mobile computing, office productivity, or even human performance. This is all about leveraging emerging technologies to improve work and play."

The majority -- 61 percent -- of vacationers who brought their laptops checked work-related e-mails. Of those who checked, 83 percent responded to them while they were away. Those who didn’t keep up with their messages returned to an average of 37 e-mails per week of vacation. One respondent reported returning to 300 e-mails.

Voicemail was most commonly used to stay in touch. Some 33 percent of the respondents reporting checking their voicemail while on vacation. More than half of this group- 54 percent - checked at least once a day. Of those who checked their messages, 62 percent responded. Those didn’t, returned to an average of 11 work-related voicemail messages per week of vacation. Survey highlights:

Compared To Last Year

Technology Of Choice

(39 percent took one communications item, 17 percent took two items, and 4 percent took all three of these items)


Cell Phones


Voice Mail

Other Means Of Keeping In Touch

Worker Reaction

Respondents were asked which statement best described their feelings about the time spent staying connected while on vacation.


Regional Influence


Job Function


About the Survey

The survey was completed by Bowen Marketing Consultants of Concord, Massachusetts. It conducted a nationwide survey of U.S. workers from August 23-26, 2000. The participants included 306 individuals from 43 states and the District of Columbia who met the following qualifications:


Ed Trapasso

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