There’s the beach, and here you are on your laptop

There’s the beach, and here you are on your laptop

(Read more: No paid vacation? You must be an American)

The job market may be improving, but many people still feel nervous about uncoupling from the office completely.

People are also staying plugged in to avoid being overwhelmed when they return to work, according to Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute.

“It’s less the big bad people making us do it [than ourselves worrying] what will happen when we don’t,” she said.

The Harris Interactive survey suggests things aren’t likely to change anytime soon. The propensity to work during vacation is greatest for Generation Y: 73 percent of respondents ages 18 to 34 said they expect to work during their time off this year.

(Read more: Job growth posts large gain)

While staying plugged in may make things a bit easier your first day back in the office, it’s not really a good thing, Galinsky said. People need relaxation and a change of scene to recharge.

“Why do you get your best ideas in the shower, or when you are walking the dog?” Galinsky asked. Stepping back “gives you a chance to pull together things that as we’re rushing through we don’t necessarily see together.”

People become more productive, she said, “having a time where you don’t feel like you’re on a treadmill—or at least you’re on a treadmill of your own choosing at a spa.”

—By CNBC’s Kelley Holland. Follow her on Twitter @KKelleyHolland.

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