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Surprising insights into the work habits of employees during their annual leave

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As workplaces gear up for the return to business as usual after the holidays, a recent research study has unearthed surprising insights into the work habits of employees during their annual leave.

The study, which surveyed over 1,000 workers and is nationally representative, has found that a staggering 78% of respondents struggle to disconnect from work-related messages and notifications while on vacation.

Furthermore, the digital itch is apparent, with 83% of workers admitting to sneaking a peek at work-related emails and messages even when spending holidays with loved ones.

These findings shed light on why over a third (37%) of Australian employees have set a goal for 2024 to unplug from work during their days off.

Research initiative

Frank Mondello, General Manager of Coffs Harbour Airport, shared insights into the motivation behind this research initiative, stating, “We know Aussies are hard workers, so we were curious to explore this further, along with the role the Coffs Coast can play in providing a natural antidote to their busy lives.

Within minutes of landing at Coffs Harbour, travelers have access to a plethora of outdoor experiences right at the airport’s doorstep.”

The survey also revealed that 60% of working Australians aspire to spend more time in nature this year, with significantly more workers from New South Wales and Victoria prioritizing outdoor experiences as a New Year’s goal compared to those from Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Mondello emphasized the Coffs Coast’s potential in this regard, saying, “The Coffs Coast has been officially recognized as the first certified ECO Tourism Destination in New South Wales, thanks to its abundant outdoor offerings.

“The airport allows travelers to maximize their long weekends or annual leave by flying directly into a destination where they can engage in activities such as stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, hiking, surfing, or simply unwinding in the fresh air with a good book. We are on a mission, in collaboration with the local tourism industry, to help busy Aussie workers find their ‘Coff Switch.'”

This tourism initiative aims to capture the attention of travelers, as Coffs Harbour Airport takes the lead in promoting visitation to a region that has long been overshadowed by crowded beach holiday destinations on the East Coast.

Fly-drive holidays

Mondello also highlighted the affordability of fly-drive holidays, stating, “Seventy-six percent of respondents said they would consider flying to Coffs Harbour for a holiday in the next 12 months.

“We also know that car hire costs have reduced as supply chain pressures have eased, making a fly-and-drive holiday more accessible to many. We are confident that a joint industry effort will lead to increased aviation access to the region.”

City of Coffs Harbour Mayor Cr Paul Amos expressed enthusiasm for this new push, saying, “Coffs Harbour is the ideal place for Aussies to disconnect, spend quality time in the great outdoors, and savor our burgeoning food and drink scene.

“The region’s tourism industry is experiencing a renaissance, with new accommodations and experiences giving travelers fresh reasons to visit. Coffs Harbour Airport’s proactive approach to encouraging travelers to find their ‘Coff Switch’ is a win-win for the region and for busy Australians.”

Additional findings from the research include:

– New South Wales (88%) and Victoria (86%) have some of the highest proportions of workers who sneakily check work-related content while on holiday with loved ones.
– Among the generational workforce, millennials aged 35-44 find it most challenging to disconnect from work messages and notifications during holidays (87%), compared to 66% of working baby boomers (aged 65+).
– In New South Wales, 84% of workers find it difficult to switch off from emails and other work-related messages while on vacation.
– Both women and men are equally likely to sneak a peek at work-related emails and notifications while on holiday (85% and 83%, respectively).
– Thirty-eight percent of workers aspire to spend more time with family in 2024, with this figure slightly higher in New South Wales at 42%, and a striking 88% of Tasmanians eager to spend more quality time with their families.

The research findings highlight the challenge many Australian workers face in finding the elusive ‘Coff Switch’ that allows them to truly unwind during their holidays.

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President Biden says it’s time to ‘pass the torch’

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President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he is “passing the torch to a new generation” as he explained his abrupt departure from the 2024 presidential race to Americans for the first time, in an Oval Office address capping over 50 years in politics.

“I revere this office,” Biden said. “But I love my country more.”

Biden, 81, rebuffed weeks of pressure from Democrats to step aside after a disastrous debate performance on June 27, saying at one point that only the “Lord Almighty” could convince him to go.

Unite the nation

“I have decided the best way forward is to pass the torch to a new generation. That is the best way to unite our nation,” Biden said.

Biden made his decision after days of soul-searching and agonizing over internal polling that predicted he could lose against Republican Donald Trump in November and drag down fellow Democrats with him.

“The great thing about America is here, kings and dictators do not rule. The people do. History is in your hands. The power is in your hands. The idea of America – lies in your hands,” Biden will say, according to the speech excerpts.

It will be Biden’s first extended public remarks since he relented to pressure from fellow Democrats and announced on Sunday via social media that he had decided not to seek reelection on Nov. 5.

Biden is the first incumbent president not to seek reelection since 1968 when Lyndon Johnson, under fire for his handling of the Vietnam War, abruptly pulled out of the campaign on March 31.

Biden also joins James K. Polk, James Buchanan, Rutherford B. Hayes, Calvin Coolidge and Harry Truman as presidents who all decided not to stand for a second elected term.

Biden faced calls to step aside after his rocky performance in the debate against Trump raised troubling questions about his mental acuity.

Since he stepped aside, however, Democrats have rallied around him, paying tribute to his character and his record as president.

Watching together

A crowd of staff walked into the White House earlier in the evening to watch the speech together. An official said a reception and “viewing party” were being held across the White House’ state floor for Biden’s address.

The White House has denied that Biden has any cognitive issues despite a recent increase in verbal slipups.

Biden said he will focus on his job as president over his remaining six months in office. He is to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday on efforts to negotiate a Gaza ceasefire.

It was the fourth time Biden used the formal setting of the Oval Office since taking office in 2021. His last Oval Office speech was on July 15 when he urged Americans to cool the political rhetoric after the attempted assassination of Trump.

Biden’s political career began when he was elected to the Senate in 1972 at age 29, becoming the sixth youngest U.S. senator. He will conclude his White House tenure on Jan. 20, 2025, as the oldest American president when he will have already turned 82.

“The defense of democracy is more important than any title,” Biden said. “I draw strength, and find joy, in working for the American people. But this sacred task of perfecting our Union is not about me. It’s about you. Your families. Your futures. It’s about ‘We the People.’”

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AI enters the Big Brother house, raising concerns around the truth of reality TV

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How will the integration of AI into reality TV impact audience engagement and what role will this have on the future of entertainment?

The latest season of Big Brother has left fans scratching their heads with the introduction of Big Brother AI, also knowns as BB AI, taking centre stage.

Tom Finnigan from Talkingbrands.ai joins to discuss all the curious AI cases of the week. #featured

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UN initiative aims to set international standards for AI ethics

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The United Nations has launched a comprehensive initiative aimed at establishing international guidelines for the governance of artificial intelligence.

The UN seeks to address ethical concerns, regulatory frameworks, and human rights implications associated with AI advancements.

Dr. Karen Sutherland from the UniSC joins to discuss the latest. #featured

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