People from the UK spend more than half an hour each day using tech for work while on holiday and over a third of people say they get anxious if they don’t have access to the internet on holiday, according to new research.
The study, from TravelSim, surveyed UK holidaymakers about their tech habits abroad to find out how reliant we are on tech, how difficult we find it to ‘switch off’ and how much we think about work while on holiday.
What are we up to online?
UK holidaymakers spend a whopping average of four and a half hours using tech each day and just 44 minutes of this time is spent on direct messaging apps, despite the fact that the number one reason people gave for taking tech on holiday was to keep in touch with family and friends.
When it comes to social media and direct messaging, women dedicate more of their holiday time to these than men. Women spend 42 minutes more, each day, on social media and direct messaging apps than men and over the course of a week’s holiday this racks up to almost 5 hours more!
Cities in need of a digital detox
The survey asked UK residents if they felt they needed a digital detox and Manchester and Newcastle came out as the UK cities with the most people admitting they need a digital detox, both at 62%.
Norwich is the UK city that came out as being the least reliant on tech, with 50% of people saying they do not take tech on holiday. Norwich was also the city with the fewest people to say they needed a digital detox at only 34%.
The survey also revealed just how attached we are to our phones, with 53% of people overall saying they couldn’t go on holiday without their mobile phone. For 25-34 year olds, this figure increases to 72% yet 49% of them also said they would like to use their phone less while on holiday but find it difficult to do so.
Access to the internet is a genuine consideration when booking a holiday as 33% of people said they would be less likely to book a holiday in an area that doesn’t have good internet access and 32% of people say they get anxious on holiday if they can’t access the internet.
The Value of Tech to Families on Holiday
Taking children on holiday can come with its own stresses, with parents responsible for keeping their children entertained. We asked parents with dependent children about their holiday tech habits and found that many parents rely on tech to ease some of the pain points. 57% of parents admit that travelling with children is less stressful if they have access to tech and 33% agree that mealtimes are also easier if children have access to tech.
Family holidays are about parent’s getting some me-time too so it might not surprise you that 59% of parents say they take tech on holiday to entertain their children and 44% say they find it easier to relax if their children have access to tech.
The industries that struggle to switch off
When it comes to leaving work behind, those working in HR find it hardest. These busy bees spend 30% of their total holiday tech time working. They are also the most likely to be in touch with co-workers with 40% of people in HR saying they are in regular contact with work colleagues while on holiday.
The industry most in need of a digital detox is finance, with a whopping 73% of people working in the financial sector saying they need one.
The idea of taking work on holiday to ease stress might seem strange but people working in sales, media and marketing seem to do just that, with 35% saying they feel less stressed about work if they have access to tech that allows them to keep on top of work while on holiday.
Helen Lauren, Head of Marketing and Online Sales, at TravelSim comments “It’s very clear from these findings that UK holidaymakers find it hard to switch off from work and disconnect from tech but there are also many positives that shine through in the responses.
“Thanks to tech, parents are able to get some well deserved me-time, people working in certain industries are able to ease work stress by touching base with the office and everyone is able to stay in touch with family and friends back home. Perhaps it’s not surprising then that over a third of people said that access to tech has a positive impact on their holiday.”
Travelsim conducted a survey asking 1,000 UK residents how much time they spend on individual platforms while on holiday, whether they think they need a digital detox, why they take tech on holiday, and to what degree they agree or disagree with a selection of statements around tech use and work stress.