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January 2024

Coff Switch image of surfer with Coffs Harbour Airport branding.

New research reveals Aussies need to find their ‘Coff Switch’

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30 January 2024

New research reveals Aussies need to find their ‘Coff Switch’

As workplaces return to regular programming this week following the summer holidays, new research has revealed most workers have not switched off during their annual leave.

A survey of over 1,000 Australian workers, nationally representative of the population, found that 78% of us find it difficult to switch off from work related messages and notifications while on holiday.

The challenge could be made harder by a digital itch, with 83% of workers admitting to sneaking a peek at emails and work-related messages while on holiday with loved ones.

The findings could explain why over a third (37%) of Aussie employees say a goal for this year is to switch off from work on their days off.

The survey, commissioned by Coffs Harbour Airport in partnership with City of Coffs Harbour, aimed to explore behaviours relating to how Aussies are spending their time off work and what their goals are for 2024.

“We know Aussies are hard workers so we were curious to explore this further, along with the role the Coffs Coast can play given nature is a proven antidote to a busy life,” Coffs Harbour Airport General Manager Frank Mondello said.

“Within minutes of landing, travellers to Coffs Harbour are immersing themselves in outdoor experiences right on the airport’s doorstep.”

The survey found six in 10 working Aussies aimed to spend more time outdoors in nature this year. Nearly twice as many NSW and Victorian workers are making time outdoors a New Year goal compared to Queenslanders and Territorians.

“The Coffs Coast is officially the first certified ECO Tourism Destination in NSW, recognition that it is a world leader in environmental tourism with a rock-solid commitment to sustainability,” Mr Mondello said.

“The airport offers travellers the opportunity to maximise a long weekend or annual leave by ditching the car to fly directly into the destination where they can fill their cup with experiences like stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, surfing or simply soaking up fresh air with a good book.

“We are making it our mission, together with the local tourism industry to help busy Aussie workers find their ‘Coff Switch’.”

The latest tourism push is designed to attract the attention of travellers as the airport leads the charge on increasing visitation to the region, which is increasingly gaining attention as a coastal destination that has it all.

“Seventy-six per cent of respondents said they would consider flying to Coffs Harbour in the next 12 months for a holiday. We also know that car hire costs have reduced as supply chain pressures have eased – making a fly-drive holiday more accessible to many,” Mr Mondello said.

“We are confident that a combined industry effort will lead to increased aviation access to the region.”

City of Coffs Harbour Mayor Cr Paul Amos welcomed the new push.

“We know that Coffs Harbour is the perfect place for Aussies to switch off, spend quality time in the natural environment, and while here enjoy our burgeoning food and drink scene,” Mayor Amos said.

“The region’s tourism industry is thriving with a diverse suite of accommodation offerings and experiences giving travellers even more reasons to visit.

“Coffs Harbour Airport gives travellers direct access to our region and the City is pleased to be partnering with the Airport to encourage visitors to fly in, unwind, and find their ‘Coff Switch’.”

The research also found:

  • NSW (88%) and Victorians (86%) are among the worst offenders nationally when it comes to sneakily looking at work related content while on holiday with loved ones
  • Of the generations in the workplace, millennials aged 35-44 find it most difficult to switch off from work messages and notifications when on holiday (87%) compared to 66% of working baby boomers (65+)
  • 84% of workers in NSW admit to finding it difficult to switch off from emails and other work-related messages while on holiday
  • Women and men are both likely to sneak a peek at work-related emails and notifications while on holiday (85% and 83%)
  • Workers are also aiming to spend more time with family this year with 38% saying they would rate it as a 2024 goal. This number jumped slightly in NSW to 42% while 88% of Tasmanians are keen to spend more quality time with their families.