Employees open presents and emails during the holidays

Most workers log onto workplace apps at 5 pm and onward on Christmas and New Year's Day, Okta found.

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Today's digitally connected workforce is so plugged in that it fails to log off workplace apps during the holidays, a report from Okta released on Thursday found. 

The Holiday Work Habits report used anonymized Okta customer data from thousands of companies, apps, and IT infrastructure integrations, as well as millions of daily authentications and verifications around the world.

SEE: High-end holiday tech gifts: The top picks (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Okta, the San Francisco-based identity and access management company, said it looked at the data to determine which travel applications were seeing the most success, when people are signing off, and whether employees really ever disconnect from workplace apps during the holidays.

Planning holiday travel 

The holidays are a popular time for travel, with people visiting family and taking vacations. More than 55 million travelers are predicted to travel at least 50 miles for Thanksgiving this year, AAA found.

Many people use online sites or apps to plan their travel. Both TripIt and Expedia have been the most popular apps within Okta's customer base. TripIt, however, saw a notable increase in use this past year, surpassing Expedia for the top spot, according to the report.

When looking at airline apps, the report found American, Southwest, and United to be the most popular over the past few years. American, however, emerged from the pack as the leader this past year, with a marked increase in use since June 2018. 

As for where to stay on vacation, Airbnb clearly disrupted the hotel industry, gaining ground in the past couple of years, and at one point surpassing Marriott and Bonvoy as the go-to for travelers. However, after Marriot and Starwood merged to create Marriott Bonvoy earlier this year, the consolidated hotel chains spiked in use, moving well above Airbnb, the report found.

Work habits during the holidays 

Despite so much travel during the holidays, people still fail to stop working. While employees appeared to log off of work apps for most of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day, they don't stay off for long, the report found. 

After 5 pm on the days of major holidays, many employees log back into workforce apps. New Year's Day 2019, in particular, revealed a large jump, with a 30% increase of logins at 5 pm versus 8 am, the report found.

Overall, Christmas Day was the most work-free holiday. However, even then, employees still checked their email. Apps like Box, Zoom, and Slack experience near-total drops on Christmas Day, but Microsoft 365 retains most of its users, indicating people can't stay away from their inboxes, the report found. 

While these apps make it easier to collaborate and communicate at work, they also make it difficult for users to unplug, the report said. And with 55% of US employees having experienced job burnout, according to a University of Phoenix report, taking time away from work is crucial. 

For more, check out Traveling for the holidays? Avoid these 5 tech mistakes on TechRepublic.

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