Gartner: Vacationers Addicted to E-mail

Business users are tethered to the workplace by e-mail even on vacation and weekends, according to Gartner.

The research firm released a report this month that found 42 percent of users check business e-mail while on vacation and 23 percent check e-mail on weekends.

Calling the phenomenon the "always on syndrome," Gartner analysts warn that it is redefining family weekends and vacations.

"Business use of cell phones, instant messaging and e-mail has crept into our lives on a 24 by 7 basis," Gartner analyst Maurene Caplan Grey said in a statement. "The connected vacationer is always on the alert for business interruptions. For better or worse, 42 percent of us go online to look for business e-mails during vacation."

Gartner's study also looked into regular workday patterns of e-mail usage. The company found that business users receive an average of 22 e-mails per day. The firm categorized 27 percent of those e-mails as items requiring immediate attention and 34 percent as "occupational spam" -- Gartner's term for unnecessary e-mails from coworkers.

"E-mail has become the corporate security blanket of this decade," Grey said. "If executives don't get their 22 e-mails per day, they actually miss them and begin to feel out of the loop."

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.