Business Technology

Smartphones encourage working parents to do unpaid overtime during family holidays

2 min read

07 April 2015

Former deputy editor

The Easter half term is underway, but as thousands of British families take time off to spend with their children, a third of working parents admit the holiday is likely to be interrupted by their jobs.

The findings follow another report that revealed the impact of the Easter weekend, as businesses in seaside towns were set to prosper from people taking road trips during the four day break to increase sales in hotels, restaurants and pubs.

Seemingly not everyone will have enjoyed the break to the fullest, according to call answering service alldayPA, which found 12 per cent of working parents predict they’ll undertake at least four hours of unpaid work during family holidays.

Indeed, 32 per cent said they would take work calls during time off, and 36 planned to check and reply to emails. As a result 23 per cent admitted their children and partners regularly complained about the bad habit.

Smartphones are the main reason for the trend, as a majority 86 per cent of work is completed on the devices.

“Smartphones are an incredibly useful tool, but they blur the boundaries of work and home. Recent studies indicate that as a nation we’re becoming more and more addicted to our smartphones and perhaps need to make a conscious effort to put them to one side, especially during holidays with our families,” said Sue Ratcliffe, spokesperson for alldayPA.

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The devices have been branded “psychologically addictive” by the University of Derby, as the average user spends 3.6 hours on their phone daily. In fact, 36 per cent said excessive use caused distractions from jobs and hobbies as they used the gadgets in times when they shouldn’t.

Ratcliffe added: “A Digital Detox does exactly what the name implies. It will break the cycle of dependency, allowing even the busiest person to leave the mobile behind and focus on their holiday enjoying a restful, communication-free break without worrying about missing calls or messages.”

Elsewhere, Durham University worked with Durex for a study on couples and their sexual behaviour, finding that a third will stop sexual encounters mid flow to answer the phone.

Image via Shutterstock.