Republicans are more likely to work on vacation than Democrats. Men are twice as likely to work than women, and college-educated workers are more likely to toil during what are supposed to be the lazy, hazy days of summer break than those with less education.

But the bottom line is this: an eye-popping 60 percent of Americans say they work on vacation.

That’s what researchers at the nonpartisan, nonprofit RAND Corporation found recently when they surveyed a representative sample of nearly 3,000 Americans about their vacation habits.

Of the people who worked on their time off, 40 percent checked email. About one in five checked voicemail and nearly one in four took calls. And an astounding 12 percent “worked like normal.”

Some vacation.

“Most of us are working on vacation, I was surprised the number was so high,” said Katherine Grace Carman, an economist and one of the report authors. “Maybe I shouldn’t be.”

Because perhaps the most damning finding of the RAND survey of the American Life Panel: barely half of all workers they surveyed even took vacation last summer. Which means the other half either have no vacation, or are unreconstructed workaholics.

Of the workaholics working on vacation, Carman and her co-author found Republicans were 37.5 percent more likely to work on vacation than Democrats. And college-educated workers were 77 percent more likely to work than those without a college education. Which only makes sense – a barista, a janitor, a parking garage attendant and others in these kinds of low-wage jobs can’t really telecommute anyway.

And for the hard-working Republicans? Could that show that they have more white collar workers among their ranks? “That might be, but we can’t say for sure,” Carman said. “It could also be different attitudes – how people interact with their jobs.”

Carman, a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, got the idea for the study after living in the Netherlands for several years – where she routinely took nine weeks of paid vacation every year – and returning to the United States 18 months ago.

Suddenly, instead of leisurely trips to explore and get lost in other cultures – in seven years abroad, she and her husband traveled to 31 different countries – she found herself doing what most other Americans do: working on vacation.

She took calls at Disneyland last week, and gave a webinar for work during a vacation in London.

“The difference of those experiences made me think that it would be an interesting thing to think about – how our vacation gets taken over by other things,” she said. “It is such a stark contrast” to other cultures.

One of the biggest differences she noticed is that, in Europe, everyone goes on vacation during the summer. “The whole state of business slows down,” she said. “That makes it easier.”

But in the United States, as the only advanced economy with no paid vacation policy, about one in four workers has no paid vacation at all. Those that do, at the discretion of their employers, get, on average, about 10 to 14 days. And, several surveys by the travel industry have shown, rarely do Americans take them all.

So work never stops or slows down. Ever. Except, perhaps, the week between Christmas and New Year’s, she said.

Carman tried to take a two-week trip to Europe once she was back living in the United States. “I couldn’t,” she said. “It was just too hard to be gone that long. There were too many things going on.”

Thus the webinar she gave while in London, rather than being out and about seeing the sights.

She felt compelled to work, she said, despite the fact that RAND so values employees taking time off and that it actually pays 50 percent more on vacation days.

The irony does not escape her.

So for her next vacation survey, she wants to ask how people feel after vacation. “I want to know if they had a chance to relax,” she said, “or if they worked because the thought of coming back was just too hard.”

Stay tuned.

What about you?

Do you work on vacation?

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