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Despite the various campaigns, press reports and government initiatives promoting work life balance, it seems that accountants just can’t leave the office behind – even when on holiday.

According to a new survey of just under 500 accounting and finance professionals, over half (56%) take their smartphones on holiday and over two thirds will make themselves available for work related calls. The increasing popularity of cloud computing has made it much easier to access documents, accounts information and CRM systems over the net, and just under 30% said that they did so with just under a third (31%) admitting to taking work away with them.

The research, carried out by online accounting provider, E-economic found that respondents will check their e-mails and call the office at least once a week. “Spending a few minutes a day checking my e-mails gives me the peace of mind to enjoy the rest of the day,” said one respondent while another maintained that “checking e-mails or calling the office eliminates the huge backlog that would otherwise be waiting for me on my return.”

Although holidays are usually seen as a way of winding down and de-stressing, it seems that some accountants find spending time with family more stressful than work. “To be perfectly frank, escaping for an hour or so each day to check e-mail or make a few phone calls is the only thing that keeps me sane on holiday,” said one senior accountant. “I’d rather deal with clients than my stroppy teenagers any day of the week!”

Commenting on the results, Anders Bjornsbo, UK Managing Director of E-conomic said: We live in a mobile app driven world these days where business can be carried out from wherever there is an internet browser. This means that if you need to check things by the pool, it can be done from your phone – the days of finding a hotel business centre and logging on to a remote server form a desktop are long gone. Unfortunately that also means that for some, it is virtually impossible to get away from business.”
All work and no play may make jack a dull boy (or girl) but for many in the accounting sector it seems that holidays or not – the job comes first.

Survey questions
Do you take any of the following with you on holiday?
Mobile Phone only( ie no data roaming) 22%
Smart phone ( eg Iphone/Blackberry/HTC) 56%
Netbook/Laptop/Ipad 18%
None 4%

Do you call the office while on holiday?
Daily 8%
More than once a week 22%
Once a week 30%
Less than once a week 31%
Never 9%

Do you make yourself available to take work related calls on holiday?
Yes 65%
No 35%

Do you check your work related e-mail while on holiday?
Daily 17%
More than once a week 27%
Once a week 31%
Less than once a week 16%
Never 9%

Do you take work away with you on holiday?
Yes 31%
No 69%

Do you access cloud based apps such as googledocs, CRM or accountancy systems?
Yes 29%
No 71%

What is your primary reason for staying in touch/working on holiday?
Deadline pressures 15%
Avoiding major backlog 43%
Being seen to be committed 29%
Staff shortages 13%

Tracey Dunn
BlueSky PR
0771 2281631
0845 3700125

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