Who pays the price for 'working vacations'?

Americans voice frustration about loss of work/life balance in new survey commissioned by Ricoh

Jun 25, 2013, 09:30 ET from Ricoh Americas Corporation

MALVERN, Pa., June 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ah, peak vacation season has arrived: at last, some time to kick back, grab some refreshments and catch up on…work?!

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130625/NY37448-INFO )

That's true, at least for the 54 percent of U.S. adults who say that in today's times, bosses expect you to work during vacations, according to a new study commissioned by Ricoh Americas Corporation and conducted online by Harris Interactive from April 29May 1, 2013 among 2,071 U.S. adults age 18+. When did this become okay? This new concept of vacation, fueled by ubiquitous mobile technology, is undermining what's supposed to be a source of relaxation and recharge for many Americans. Ricoh asks – is this how it should be?

51 percent of employed Americans who ever take a vacation agreed that they would rather get a root canal than work during vacation. On the other hand, checking email eases the return to work for nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of them. If you do check email, however, you'll likely suffer for it: their family members get upset when loved ones work on vacation, say 67 percent of employed Americans who ever take vacation.

So let's say you check your email and have to take care of a small document revision. Well, that's a problem too: Less than one-fourth of workers (24 percent) say their employer makes it easy to access work-related documents from home or a remote location.

"Hold on, it seems employees are actually working harder when they're on vacation than when they're in the office," said Ricoh Americas Corporation VP of Strategic Marketing Terrie Campbell. "This means both employers and employees end up paying the price of working vacations, and it doesn't have to be this way. It shouldn't be this way. Either we manage our technology or it manages us."

Work/life balance is a critical concern as Gen Y, digitally connected since birth, enters the workforce on the way to becoming the majority. Gen Y workers need to realize that their uninterrupted connection to technology will likely harm their relationships, if not their health. Older workers, who have felt the consequences of working vacations firsthand, are best-positioned to influence policy and reverse the working vacation trend.

"Workers absolutely must have a chance to recharge for themselves, their families and their career," continues Campbell. "Employers ignore this need at their peril. Workers will choose desirable employers by whether they encourage you to disconnect on vacation or not. In those situations where working on vacation is unavoidable, the most sought-after employers will make mobile access easy."

Helping companies support increasingly mobile employees and innovate their work styles are just two of the pressing business challenges Ricoh helps organizations meet through its Business Information Solutions approach. 

Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Ricoh from April 29 - May 1, 2013 among 2,071 adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,047 are employed and 954 are employed and ever take vacations. This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Jill Searl at jsearl@brodeur.com.

| About Ricoh |

Ricoh is a global technology company specializing in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in about 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ending March 2013, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 1,924 billion yen (approx. 20 billion USD).

The majority of the company's revenue comes from products, solutions and services that improve the interaction between people and information. Ricoh also produces award-winning digital cameras and specialized industrial products. It is known for the quality of its technology, the exceptional standard of its customer service and sustainability initiatives.

Under its corporate tagline, imagine. change., Ricoh helps companies transform the way they work and harness the collective imagination of their employees.

For further information, please visit www.ricoh.com/about/

© 2013 Ricoh Americas Corporation. All rights reserved. All referenced product names are the trademarks of their respective companies.


John Greco
Ricoh Americas Corporation
(973) 882-2023

Jill Searl
Brodeur Partners
(603) 559-5824

SOURCE Ricoh Americas Corporation