KUALA LUMPUR – Expedia released the key results of its 2017 Expedia Vacation Deprivation® Study, an annual survey that looks at the vacation habits of more than 15,000 employees across 30 countries, revealing that Malaysia is the third most vacation deprived country globally and the second in Asia Pacific
According to the study, almost two third of Malaysians (65 percent) described themselves as very or somewhat vacation deprived, which implies that Malaysians need to reset their work-life balance.
52 percent of Malaysian employees reported that they cancelled their vacation plans due to their work and only 37 percent took all their entitled leaves despite the recent increase in annual leaves to 18 days.
The primary reasons cited for not taking vacations amongst Malaysians are budget or affordability issues (35 percent), the desire to save up vacation days for a longer holiday (31 percent), and the unavailability to get away from work (26 percent).
Vacation deprivation is on the rise all across the globe, with 53 percent of full-time working adults globally feeling vacation-deprived in 2017, an increase from 49 percent in 2016.
However, when compared against the Americas and Europe, Asia Pacific leads the pack as the most vacation-deprived region, with South Korea topping the list as the most vacation-deprived country with 81 percent of full-time working adults feeling deprived of vacations.
Looking at the trends across industry sectors, the marketing & media and food & beverage industries – industries that are known for tight deadlines and long working hours – emerged as the two most vacation-deprived industries globally.
66 percent of workers in the marketing & media industry and 62 percent of workers in food & beverage industry globally agree that they are vacation-deprived, contrasting against the 47 percent and the 49 percent recorded in the two least vacation-deprived sectors – education and government – respectively.
Meanwhile, more than one third of Malaysians (35 percent) still checked their work-related emails or voicemails at least once a day while on vacation and 38 percent felt stressed after checking in, although 72 percent responded that they believe it is their right to take a vacation without feeling guilty.
When asked about the benefits of taking regular vacations, 49 percent of Malaysians agree that vacations are important for their general health and well-being, 47 percent agree that they are important for their relationship with their significant other and 47 percent agree that they help them feel better connected to friends and family.
“As one of the most socially engaged markets in the world, it is not surprising that employees in Malaysia find it hard to detach themselves from work but this also evidently corroborates that Malaysians don’t get to fully enjoy their vacation.
Our report provides valuable implications- to both Malaysian employees and employers that quality time off is crucial for better productivity and performance as a critical part of work-life balance,” said Simon Fiquet, General Manager of Expedia Southeast Asia and India.