No time for vacation

City dwellers, journalists and advertising executives are among the world’s most holiday-deprived workers. An annual survey has unveiled vacation habits across multiple countries and continents and listed India as...

City dwellers, journalists and advertising executives are among the world’s most holiday-deprived workers. An annual survey has unveiled vacation habits across multiple countries and continents and listed India as the fifth most vacation-deprived country. So who are ahead of us? South Korea (82 %), followed by France (66 %), Malaysia (65%) and Hong Kong (64%) seem to be working a bit harder than us.

According to a study by Expedia, 55 % Indians take fewer days of vacation when compared to the days they get and 28 % don’t take leaves at all as their hectic work schedules do not allow them to or they lack the cover of enough back-up staff.

A good vacation and disconnecting from work at least once or twice a year is crucial in rejuvenating not just the body, but also the mind. As per the study, on a one-week vacation, 37 % Indians would check their work email or voicemail more than once per day.

It is no surprise that 48 % Indians feel the happiest during a vacation when they disconnect from work, even though the figures have dropped from 53 % last year. About 55 % Indians feel that being vacation-deprived results in decreased productivity at work while 64 % are more focussed once back from vacation. Around 34 % Indians are even willing to take a cut in their salary for extra vacation days.

Reasons for Indians not being able to go on trips range from work pressure to personal problems.

The annual vacation days vary across the globe – UAE, Finland, Spain, Germany, France, and Denmark got around 30 days whereas the number was reduced to 10 in case of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico and South Korea. Indians got around 20 days of vacation.

When it comes to longing for a vacation, the statistics are a bit different. Brazil (44 %), Australia (32 %), India (16 %) long for a vacation since a year or more.

The vacation patterns differ from people opting for few long vacations to several short ones. Brazil (61 %), Argentina (56 %) and Finland (49 %) prefer one or two long trips. In contrast, Austria (24 %), Malaysia (22 %), India (46 %). South Korea, Taiwan (39 %) prefer several long weekend trips.

The most crucial factor for taking solo trips is independence – for Malaysia, it’s 67 % and for India, it’s 64 %. The other reason is that it provides time to reflect personally – Thailand (67 %), Brazil (62 %) and India (57 %). Travellers can choose their own accommodation or hotels – Finland (57 %) and India (53 %).

India ranked highest when it came to family vacations as quality time (76 per cent) followed by Finland (73 per cent). Forty-eight per cent Indians wanted a holiday to disconnect from work, 69 per cent wanted to explore a new place and 62 per cent wanted to experience varied cultures.

Vacation-deprivation can also result from work-related trips which do not provide them with relaxation. So 57 per cent Indians decide the length of a trip on the basis of the impending workload. They have not taken a holiday in the last six months because 37 per cent can’t afford a holiday, 36 per cent can’t get a time off from work and 27 per cent are saving time for a long holiday. On a one-week vacation, 37 per cent of them check their work email more than once per day, 21 per cent check it once per day and 10 per cent switch off completely. Around 33 per cent feel more stressed by checking in at work while on a holiday while 26 per cent feel less stressed. Around 60 per cent in total agree that they feel somewhat or really vacation-deprived. They feel that they deserve 14.5 more vacation days (ranks at the third spot globally) over and above what they get today, preceded by UAE (29.8) and Brazil (14.8).

Around 55 per cent feel that being vacation-deprived results in decreased productivity. Around 67 per cent have cancelled or postponed their plans due to work. However, 76 per cent said that their employers are supportive of them taking off time from work. While 74 per cent said that they would prefer an unlimited vacation policy, only 23 per cent said that their employer currently has an unlimited vacation policy.

Taking time out for recreational activities can lead to various benefits:

Professionals come back to work more relaxed (75 per cent), more productive (66 per cent), more focussed (64 per cent); have a better attitude (59 per cent) and think more holistically (33 per cent).

Most come back feeling relaxed (78 per cent), rejuvenated and have a better outlook both personally and professionally (65 per cent). Some feel less anxious and worried, but are instead more organised and ready to take on the next challenge (51 per cent). Yet others come back feeling patient (50 per cent) and take fewer sick days throughout the year (28 per cent).

People are ready to sacrifice much for trips. About 97 per cent of them are willing to give up on the below mentioned things for a week in order to have one extra day of vacation including alcohol (46 %), dessert (39 %), social media (50 %), television (54 %), coffee (46 %), sex (23 %), contact with their best friend (31 %), smartphone (34 %), Internet (34 %) and taking a shower (20 %).

No time for vacation – India is the fifth most vacation-deprived country in the world and about 55 per cent of us feel that this results in decreased productivity at work, says a survey more info visit:

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