59% Will Check Work E-mail on Thanksgiving

Most Americans may not be required to work on Thanksgiving Day, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll completely disconnect during the holidays: 59% admitted that they will check their work e-mails on Thanksgiving, Christmas and other traditional family holidays, according to a survey from Xobni, a company that makes organizational software for your e-mail system.

More than half of these people (55%) check work e-mail at least once a holiday and more than one in four (28%) actually do so multiple times a day.  As the company said in a blog post, “Aunt Betty would not be pleased.”

Of course, one of the main reasons people check their work e-mail is because they are likely to receive messages on it. Indeed, 79% of those that check stated that they have received a work-related e-mail from a colleague or client on holidays.

Another reason people gave for staying tethered to their Blackberrys was that they felt that staying up to date on e-mail will ease their workload once they return from the holiday break.  

Additionally, while 41% of respondents felt annoyed, frustrated or resentful about receiving e-mails while off, another 19% admitted they felt "thankful" or "relieved" at having the distraction during their holiday celebrations. Five percent said they use work e-mails as an excuse to avoid awkward family commitments.

The survey was conducted by market-research firm Harris Interactive, which interviewed 2,179 adults from Nov. 5 to Nov. 9. Xobni’s latest survey follows up on another conducted in September that found 50% of working Americans e-mail while on vacation and 70% e-mail after work hours.

“We aren’t all that surprised that this many people may be sneaking a peek at their e-mail while dining with family and friends this Thursday … but we were surprised at how consistent this was across the U.S.,” Xobni said.

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