By Vicky Anscombe on 05 August 2015

A new survey has suggested that just taking a few hours to work on holiday can have a damaging effect on your relationships - and your kids.

Parents are being warned to avoid sabotaging their much-needed quality family time by allowing work to 'gatecrash' their family holidays.

A recent poll by Tots To Travel has found that almost 60% of parents work while on their family holiday - and if you think their partners were fine with them running off to work, you'd be mistaken. 81% either tolerated or were annoyed at their partner working on holiday, leaving a meagre 19% who didn't mind their partner working.

Interestingly, 87% wanted their partner to stop working on holiday, an indication of the stress that holiday working nearly always brings. Parents know how important this holiday time is - 82% of families rated quality time together a top priority - yet parents are ambushing family time together by anything from a sneaky email check (64% check at least once a day), to the 65% of interviewees working three hours or more a week on holiday.

And, as we all know, working on holiday leaves you tense - not relaxed. Only 11% of parents felt totally relaxed after their holiday and a worrying 89% confessed they'd come home feeling only moderately chilled out.

What's the lesson here? Family time is important and you've got plenty of time to work yourself to the bone in the office. Enjoy these weeks of free time.

Tots To Travel has decided that enough's enough, and has devised the following five tips for parents on how to achieve a work-free family holiday:

  1. Consciously decide to give yourself a 'work-free' holiday; after all, you will return fresher and more creative from a proper break.
  2. Communicate your intentions to your colleagues and to your family, and make arrangements for others to cover for you; you can do the same for them in return.
  3. Set an auto-responder that clearly conveys that you will not be answering emails while on holiday and provide an alternative contact.
  4. In an emergency (and only in an emergency), suggest colleagues can text you.
  5. Keep the Wi-Fi switched off while on holiday and only switch it on if you need to use your device to research your holiday - no sneaky peeks to check your emails!

This isn't the first time that we've published research on the perils of working on holiday - have you read our latest report on Millennials 'burning out' on holiday.

Here's how to manage your workload before you head abroad. You're welcome.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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