A survey of management holidays in the Wall Street Journal last week claimed that there is a Catch-22 for senior workers: "The enhanced mobility of wireless communications is making it harder for people to disconnect." According to the report, numerous European high-flyers are spending the beach bar's Happy Hour talking to colleagues back home on their mobiles.

Technology, naturally, is to blame. The simultaneous arrival of the mobile phone and laptop means there's no escape.

Carl, 31, a publishing executive from south London, has a holiday home in France. "Invariably we'll arrive on the Friday night, put the bags in the hall and go upstairs. Minutes later the mobile goes off with some routine enquiry. It will be too late to deal with it so it hangs over me all day Saturday. By Sunday we're about to come home again. It's a nightmare."

The only solution for hard-pressed senior executives is to switch their phones off and claim they are in a location too remote for a signal. But deputies remember - bosses deserve it, that's what they get paid for.