A recent poll by family-friendly holiday experts Tots To Travelhas found that almost 60% of parents work whilst on their family holiday (regional data available upon request).
Of these, 81% either tolerated or were annoyed at their partner working on holiday, leaving a meagre 19% in support of their partner working.
Interestingly, 87% polled wanted their partner to stop working on holiday, an indication of the stress that work is bringing into this precious time. Ironically, 82% of families rated quality time together a top priority, yet parents are ambushing family time together by anything from a sneaky email check (64% check at least once a day), to working three hours or more a week (65%).
Not surprisingly only 11% of parents felt totally relaxed after their family holiday and a worrying 89% felt moderately relaxed to not relaxed at all.
Therefore parents need to understand that if quality family time is an objective, then they need to make a conscious plan to achieve this in the knowledge that even a quick email check, can be a stressful distraction from the job of properly relaxing with the children.
Mum of three and founder of Tots To Travel, Wendy Shand, said: “With technology at our fingertips, work and holiday have become intertwined. If your family holiday is to be relaxing then there needs be a much clearer divide.”
Wendy continued “On past family holidays we’ve taken a whopping 12 devices, which were all connected to the Wi-Fi. This makes work just a click away throughout the holiday. As a working parent I’m now mindful of this so as to protect this precious time. I urge other parents to make a conscious decision to limit work whilst away, and to make a plan to keep it to an absolute minimum so as not to ruin their valuable family holiday.”
In a bid to help, Tots To Travel has devised the following five tips for parents on how to achieve a work-free family holiday:
Tots’ Top 5 Tips For A Relaxing Family Holiday:
1. Consciously decide to give yourself a ‘work-free’ break, after all you will return fresher and more creative from a proper break.
2. Communicate your intentions to your colleagues and to your family and make arrangements for others to cover for you; you can do the same for them in return.
3. Set an auto-responder that clearly conveys that you will not be answering emails whilst on holiday and provide an alternative contact.
4. In an emergency (and only in an emergency), suggest colleagues can text you.
5. Keep the Wi-Fi switched off whilst on holiday and only switch on if you need to use your device to research your holiday – no sneaky peeks to check your emails!