Even while on vacation, Americans still work hard.
That’s according to travel reviews site TripAdvisor, which recently published survey results indicating that Americans, even if paid to take the time off and go on a break, still find it difficult to unplug themselves from work responsibilities.
According to the survey, which takes into account the responses of more than 16,100 employees across 10 countries, as much as 77 percent of US respondents have worked on vacation during the past year. This is significantly higher than the average of 40 percent tallied by the other nine countries included in the survey: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, and the UK.
Furthermore, 51 percent of respondents in the US say they don’t mind doing a little work; 5 percent even say that they enjoy doing so.
“The TripAdvisor survey shows that Americans receive less vacation time than other countries, and when they do take time off, it’s more often more like a ‘workation’ than a vacation,” said TripAdvisor communications director Brooke Ferencsik. “In today’s highly connected world, most Americans feel the need to stay plugged in even while out of the office.”
According to TripAdvisor, the top reason why travelers might work while on vacation is that there may be situations that need their urgent attention – with approximately 65 percent of US respondents feeling this way.
Work activities identified by the popular travel reviews site include checking and responding to E-mails, checking and responding to voicemail, and creating and editing documents. 18 percent of Americans actually feel guilty if they don’t work on vacation; 18 percent also say that their managers even expect it from them.
Encouraging Positive Reviews from “Workation” Guests
This is obviously not the ideal “work-life balance” that employees seek, but if there’s something to be taken from this survey, it’s that local businesses can create new opportunities by engaging with “workation” travelers. If you’re a TripAdvisor-listed hotel or restaurant, for example, then you can follow these tips to generate positive online reviews of your business:
- Strengthen your Wi-Fi infrastructure. Travelers these days like to bring their own Internet-enabled devices, whether for business or for pleasure. Knowing this, you can avoid low ratings and negative reviews – and inspire positive ones – if your establishment offers strong, fast, reliable wireless connectivity. (Trust us: there are so many negative customer reviews generated merely because of bad Wi-Fi!)
- Create special offers for business travelers. If your hotel or venue has a business center (that offers computers for use, printers, a workstation, etc.), create offers around your work offering. For example: free coffee refills, special discounts on printing, and other such conveniences.
- Partner with leisure service providers. Those who work on vacation might like to treat themselves at the end of a long work day. If that’s the case, then it’s useful to have the usual leisure services on hand, such as massage treatments, yoga classes, live entertainment with cocktails, tours, or even a lounge area with iPod docks and a book collection. If this is something you’re not able to offer yourself, consider partnering with providers in your area. That way, you can create positive guest experiences that lead to great reviews and high ratings online.
- Provide great customer service. At the end of the day, it’s great service that makes for great travel. Smooth check-ins, hassle-free transfers, and other pleasant little surprises are intangibles that pay off in the long run. So recognize that it’s critical that you and your staff are trained to make your guests’ stay or visit as comfortable and convenient as possible.