Friday Funny: Little White Wi-Fi Lies

Half of working Americans would lie about cell reception and Wi-Fi access to avoid work calls and email while on vacation.

People are more connected to their jobs than ever, thanks to mobile phones and easily accessible Wi-Fi. Many employees can, and do, keep tabs on their jobs 24/7, including when they’re on a much-needed vacation. For many hard working Americans, even when they get away on vacation, they can’t actually get away—no matter how much they need a break.

Wi-Fi vacation
(Credit: Getty Images)

So, what will people do to truly get away from their jobs? In this case, it’s not the truth that will set them free. Turns out little white lies about Wi-Fi are acceptable to half (49%) of working Americans who want to avoid checking into the office while on vacation, according to the 2019 Vacation Confidence Index released by Allianz Global Assistance.

When work obligations encroach on personal time it’s referred to as “email creep,” and it affects two thirds (65%) of workers. As a result, claiming there is bad or limited phone service or Wi-Fi in a vacation destination has become the excuse du jour for employees who feel pressured to check-in with the office while on vacation this summer.

Most likely to use the excuse are Millennials (59%), followed by Gen X’ers (49%) and Boomers (32%). While men and women are equally honest, with no difference between the sexes at 49% each, those earning more than $50,000 a year are significantly more likely (53%) to use the excuse compared to those earning less than $50,000 (39%).

Wi-FiOn the other hand, a quarter of all working Americans (24%) make a point not to go on vacation in places where poor cell reception or Wi-Fi access could disrupt their connection to the office.

Millennials (74%) are the most likely to check email while on vacation, but the rate is also high for Gen X’ers (58%) and Boomers (63%), with the most common reason: it makes catching up on work easier when returning to the office (34%).

Despite pressures to stay “online” and connected to the office while on vacation, the majority of working Americans (54%) would choose to work even more while away if it meant they were able to take more vacations throughout the year. Millennials (64%) are more likely to choose the more vacations with more checking in at work scenario. Boomers, meanwhile, were more likely (54%) to prefer fewer vacations if it means they could be unplugged from the office.

“Most working Americans feel pressured to spend their vacations attached to their work email, when they may just need a few days to unplug,” said Daniel Durazo, director of marketing and communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “Consequently, half of U.S. workers are willing to lie about lack of connectivity to set them free from work obligations.”