SecurityBrief Australia - Technology news for CISOs & cybersecurity decision-makers
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Aussie workers struggling to switch off while on holiday
Thu, 25th Jul 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Australians are finding it hard to put the work laptop down when they're on holiday, according to a new survey that reveals workers are struggling to disconnect from work when travelling.

According to the research from Snow Software, which surveyed 3,000 workers from around the world including 1,000 from APAC, 71% of Australian workers noted that they always take their laptops on vacation.

The survey also revealed that while Australian workers are good at keeping hold of their devices, they're not so good at reporting when they are lost while travelling.

The report found 78% of Australian respondents say they have never lost a work device on vacation, but of those that did, 30% indicated they have took over 48 hours or more to report this loss.

According to Snow Software, beyond the security risks that losing these devices poses to Australian businesses, the survey illustrates that for Australian workers, taking work on holiday is becoming the new norm.

“For those looking to switch off, this is not ideal, especially considering that the World Health Organisation officially recognised the serious impacts workplace burnout last month,” says Alastair Pooley, Snow Software chief information officer.

On a global scale, the survey found 34% of respondents reported that they always take their work devices on vacation, with another 27% saying they bring them most of the time and 17% taking them some of time.

There were also some notable regional trends around professional devices and personal travel:
    •    Workers in the Asia Pacific region have the toughest time disconnecting. They were most likely to always bring their laptops with them on vacation (71%) and also the least likely to leave them at home (18%).
    •    Europeans appear to have the best work-life balance with just 29% indicating they always bring their work device on vacation. However, 35% said they still bring their work devices with them most of the time, making it the most common response for workers from Europe.
    •    American workers have the most polarised approach to bringing work device on personal trips. While 36% report that they always bring their work devices, another 26% say they would never bring them along. US workers had the highest rate of leaving work devices at home out of all the regions.

The survey also found that half of millennials have had a work device lost or stolen on vacation.

“Millennials represent the first generation of digital natives, so it is no surprise that 37% of younger workers claim they always bring their employer-issued devices on vacation, versus just 24% baby boomers,” says Pooley.

Conversely, 33% of boomers never take their device with them compared to only 18% of millennials who do the same.

“These gaps are also reflected in how often those devices were lost or stolen while on vacation,” Pooley says.

Half of millennials have had a work device lost or stolen on vacation. Just 22% of boomers have been in the same position.

“Fortunately, younger workers do a better job of keeping IT in the loop when their device goes missing - they were more likely to report it to their company, 47% versus 36%, and to do more quickly.