Research Extra: Work-Life Imbalance

How much time do you generally spend working on weekends?

Less than one hour    38%
Two to five hours    47%
Six to 10 hours    12%
More than 10 hours    3%

Which of the following work-related tasks do you typically do on vacation?

Read email    69%
Send/respond to email    69%
Check voice mail    34%
Make/return phone calls    24%
Bring work with me    24%
I generally do not work on vacation    21%

How often do you use driving/commuting time to make work-related phone calls?

Always    7%
Often    14%
Sometimes    25%
Rarely    34%
Never    22%

Following is a selection of the verbatim comments on what work-related tasks planners do on weekends:

• Catch up on work not finished through the week, especially during our busy season, which is January-April
• Limit email checking to ONCE or TWICE unless I have event within 5-7 days
• Sometimes I am on business travel on weekends.
• Have others take care of problems; they call if they need help
• Only handle crisis-type situations that demand immediate attention
• Catch up on reporting that I did not get to during the week
• Monitor emails but do not respond
• Check but a bit more sporadically
• This year (and I tend to work on academic year), I am trying to NOT work or respond on weekends or holidays unless it is an emergency or I know a client is having a problem abroad. Haven't quite mastered this but am definitely TRYING!
• Sometimes working conferences on weekends
• I don't think in terms of weekdays and weekends... It's more "on project" and "off project." When an event project is over, then I relax and ignore emails and messages.
• Unless we are in conference season (May-August for us), I will work through the weekend.
• When I have people traveling internationally, I monitor email continuously to ensure they don't need something Saturday morning and I don't see it until Monday morning. It's the nature of our job.
• Our work is mostly seasonal. During the high conference season or when we have an event in the next week, I am on 24/7, but when I don't have one in the next week then I am off on weekends.
• Unless working on-site over weekend of course
• Catch up on work I was unable to do or did not get to during the week
• Its cyclical... When I'm busy on large programs, I am working all day every day until it's over.
• Relax and ignore unless I am facilitating a program
• Occasionally respond to emails on weekends
• Varies - some weekends I stay plugged in and respond to messages, and other weekends I don't.
• Do things like proofreading that don't take a computer
• Not all weeks and seasons are the same; sometimes I can take a total weekend off but others NO.
• Update calendars for myself and others, send meeting invitations, etc.
• Work that doesn't get done during the week due to constant "fire drills"
• Our company has asked employees to not send emails over the weekend.
• Research, work on intense projects that require uninterrupted time
• During peak times I rarely have weekends off.

Verbatim comments on work-related tasks planners do on vacation:

• Vacation?
• Depending upon time of year, sometimes I do no work on vacation.
• Catch up on reading
• It depends. Some weekends and short vacations I just "unplug." Often check email or "work" while husband is driving just to pass time.
• I don't take vacations.
• Typically do not take vacation
• N/A. Have not taken a vacation in over three years.
• It's hard to take a vacation at my company. There is not a lot of room for others to take on my work while I am away. And the result is 12-14 hour days for at least a week when I return.
• Bring a few things and check with the office at beginning and end of most business days
• Conference calls
• Respond to only urgent email
• It's really hit and miss. Depends on what's going in the office. Personally, I think work email on cell phones is a curse and should not be. No one ever gets a clean break from work - and downtime is SO IMPORTANT for one's health, mental, physical and family.
• Depends on the vacation!
• My vacation is usually tied to a work trip, so much of it is spent working - just in a really nice location.
• Check on banking
• Urgent emails only
• Depends on what time of year. During incentive season, I wouldn't take vacation.