Survey Shows Americans Will Still Be Checking Work Email Over Holiday Break

November 23, 2010

Man checking messages on cell phone while on a date with a womanAmericans are such workaholics that even the big upcoming holiday season cannot tear us away from our work e-mail.

According to a press release, a recent survey by Xobni and market research firm Harris Interactive found that 59 percent of employed American adults check their e-mail during big holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of that 59 percent, 55 percent check their inboxes at least once a day and 28 percent login multiple times throughout the day.

For some, checking work e-mail is somewhat of an addiction, reported One in 10 reported that they check their inboxes while spending time with friends or relatives at holiday parties/gatherings and meals. This habit, however, is most common among the younger generation. Of those ages 18-34, 15 percent said they check their e-mail during functions and events with friends or family. Only ten percent of those ages 35-44 said they were guilty of doing it and just six percent of 45-54 year olds checked their inboxes in the company of friends and family. Five percent of respondents said they used work e-mail as an excuse to avoid awkward family moments or to get out of holiday commitments.

While 42 percent of those who check their work inbox during the holidays said they do so to avoid being overwhelmed by e-mail when back in the office, 41 percent said they felt annoyed or frustrated to see e-mails from co-workers or clients during the time off. Mashable noted that younger adults usually expressed these sentiments--specifically, 56 percent of employees 18-34. Those between 35 and 44 were more forgiving, with 39 percent reporting annoyance or frustration and those 45-54 were the least bothered by e-mails received during the holidays (30 percent). Twelve percent of respondents said they felt "dread" to see e-mails in their inbox. Nineteen percent, however, said they were "thankful" or "relieved" to see e-mails as they were a welcome distraction from holiday stress.

Interestingly, the press release stated that men check their inboxes more than women--67 percent versus 50 percent. And when it comes to location, the Southern region checked their inboxes the most--63 percent compared to 57 percent for the west and 59 percent for the northeast.

According to, Xobni hired Harris Interactive to conduct the survey. More than 2,100 U.S. adults ages 18 and older were surveyed online from November 5-9.

Compiled by Staff


"Checking Work E-Mail During the Holidays? You're Not Alone [STATS],", November 23, 2010, Radhika Marya

"Tis the Season to Work--New Survey From Xobni Shows Most Americans Will Be Doing Work Email During Thanksgiving and Other Holidays This Season,", November 23, 2010

"We can't stop checking e-mail, even at Thanksgiving,", November 23, 2010, Athima Chansanchai

Career and Education News

Our News Writers and Editors

CityTownInfo Writers and Editors


Follow Us on Facebook
Follow Us on Twitter
Follow Us on Youtube

Career and College Resources on CityTownInfo

Real-World Career Reports

Career Stories from workers: daily activities, job tips, best/worst job aspects, training, etc.
Daily Career & Education News from our staff. We're an approved Google News provider!

Career References and Original Articles

Resource Center. A starting point for all CityTownInfo career and college resources.
Career Overviews of hundreds of careers: descriptions, salaries, forecasts, schools, more.
Best Careers Not Requiring Degrees: Good pay, job growth, low need for degrees.
Helpful Articles, many in "how-to" format; e.g., "How to Become a Chef".
Infographics covering employment and educational trends.

College Directories and Lists

These lists link to thousands of detailed school profiles.

Colleges by State. Nearly every college and trade school in the country.
Colleges Listed Alphabetically. About 7,000 colleges & trade schools, including online schools.
Colleges by Major City. Browse cities with multiple college options.
Online Colleges. Colleges with online degree programs.
Graduate Schools by State. Colleges offering graduate degree programs.
Graduate Schools by Major City. Find cities with multiple graduate school options.