Off the radar while on holiday?

While on vacation, most Germans remain reachable for their colleagues.

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New form of freedom or a digital shackle? In the past, hardly anyone would have dreamed of a phone-call with the office while on holiday. Today, for most employees in Germany that is a matter of course: Even during the summer vacation they can be reached by their boss, colleagues or clients. Seven out of ten employees in Germany phone, mail or send work-related text messages from the beach or mountains. Digital association Bitkom found this out in a representative survey. 

Above all the younger generation feels it important not to hear anything from the office when on holiday.

Bitkom, Germany’s digital association

That may sound surprising: a wish to simply drop off the radar while on holiday is something primarily young people want to do. 37 percent of employees aged 29 or under did not want to be reachable. The figure fell to only 25 percent among the over-30s, or so the results of the Bitkom survey. It tends above all to be one’s dear colleagues who contact you during holiday because they have a question or other. In 2016, six out of ten employees who were reachable while on holiday received a call or a text message from a colleague. Only 23 percent of the calls or messages were from superiors. In fact, almost one quarter of those polled were not contacted although they had said beforehand they could be reached.

There is usually no legal obligation to be reachable while on holiday. On the contrary: The law protects employees’ rights to a holiday. Meaning leave your mobiles behind and head for the beach!