Executives admit that laptop now joins the mobile on holiday

11 July 2003

A large upsurge in sun-seeking British executives are taking their laptop computers on holiday to catch up on work and keep in touch with the office, reports BCS - the representative body for the UK's IT profession.

A new BCS survey has found that the laptop is catching up with the mobile phone as a "must take" for over 20 per cent of executives when holidaying abroad. 15 per cent of business executives polled by the BCS stated that they now take their laptop or palmtop computer with them on holiday expressly to contact office colleagues and keep apace with e-mails; a further 8 per cent take theirs to keep in touch with friends and family via email; for surfing the net to research local amenities, restaurants and places of interest and for creative use in conjunction with other technology such as digital cameras to edit and send holiday snaps.

The number of hours holidaying executives spend on their laptops is also noteworthy: nearly half who take their laptop report using it for at least one hour daily dealing with work related emails; 14 hours on the average two week holiday.

According to David Clarke, BCS Chief Executive:, "The figures are reflective of 21st century British working culture but also reveal that people are utilising technology to adapt to the demands of their work. Taking a laptop on holiday gives peace of mind to many by enabling them to keep in touch with colleagues and clients and to respond to a situation from virtually anywhere around the world, even if on holiday on the beach!"

BCS top tips for taking your laptop on holiday:

  • Make sure your laptop is adequately covered by your company or personal insurance policy before you go
  • Don't forget spare batteries or re-charger and mains adaptor
  • To prevent possible damage, keep your laptop in its carry case and take it on the plane with you. Never check your laptop in as luggage
  • Ensure your laptop has adequate password protection to prevent other people from accessing your information
  • Use it discreetly in public places, as laptops now compete with mobile phones in the overseas theft league
  • Never store any sensitive details such as passport number and bank details on your computer - unless encrypted
  • Keep your laptop away from humidity, especially near the sea and the sand
  • If you must fit work in around your holiday, let your customers and colleagues know that you're available for a specifically fixed time slot each day so you can communicate at a time that is convenient for you and your family

Ironically, the survey also revealed that most laptop carrying holidaymakers returned to work feeling re-energised and in control knowing they did not have to wade through a deluge of emails that normally await them on their return.

For further information please contact the BCS Press Office.