Brits are a nation of working e-mail addicts, and not even a relaxing holiday abroad can tear us away from logging in.

Holiday season is upon us and you’d be forgiven for thinking a well-earned break is an opportunity to switch-off. Sadly, not according to Unisys: 84% of Brits e-mail from holiday and 20% view and send e-mails from the aeroplane.

Following the explosion of social networking sites and the launch of Apple’s iPhone 4, device fever has reached new heights. People are connected almost anytime, anywhere.

Work isn’t limited to the office and beach either: 38% send work e-mails from bed and 26% e-mail clients and colleagues from family gatherings, and 19% e-mail from entertainment events, more than one third of respondents send business e-mails from restaurants. ‘Good’ news is that only 3% send work e-mails from a place of worship (church, mosque, synagogue).

The ‘problem’ is that modern businesses are making it possible for employees to access their work applications from their mobile device, so they’re always connected. 77% of organisations surveyed offer access to enterprise applications via a smartphone. And given that 51% of businesses now use social networking sites for business purposes, 59% of UK businesses are actively encouraging ‘in-situ’ mobile communications by paying outright for their employees’ smartphones.

However, as mobile devices evolve into powerful mini-computers and the capacity to store someone’s ‘whole life’ on their device increases, along with sensitive business and financial information, the implications of losing these devices also increases. In this digital age, enterprises need to account for security on a variety of different devices used in the wild.

According to the Metropolitan Police, as many as 10,000 mobile phones are stolen every month and JustStolen.net claims that up to one in ten laptops will be stolen during their lifetime. Using the latest devices on holiday can also make you a target. An independent study estimates that a British tourist abroad is robbed every 31 seconds on average.

“As the smartphone industry has matured and people have become accustomed, even expect to be able to work on the hoof, the lines between work and leisure have blurred,” said Rob Chapman, vice-president and managing director of Unisys EMEA. “We would urge people to consider how they’re using their devices. Have they password protected their phones for example? Have employers accounted for their employee smartphones when it comes to auditing their business assets. If not they may be falling foul of their own governance and security policies. Our advice would be to stay connected but to stay safe.”