Recent survey conducted by online travel portal Expedia.com.my has ranked Malaysia at the third place of the most vacation-deprived population globally and the second place among Asia Pacific countries. Almost two-thirds Malaysians participated in the 17th annual survey on vacation deprivation had said that they were very or somewhat vacation-deprived.
Involving some 15,000 full-time working adults in 30 markets across the world, the study found that vacation deprivation was a rising phenomenon worldwide. Over half respondents (53 percent) felt a kind of vacation-deprived in 2017, compared to the 49 percent in 2016.
According to the Expedia South-east Asia and India General Manager Simon Fiquet, budget or affordability issues remain the primary reasons for such deprivation. There is also low desire to save up vacation days for longer holidays as well as the inability to get away from work among popular reasons that prevent employees from taking vacation, Bernama reports.
Speaking at a media briefing on the survey findings, Mr Fiquet noted that Malaysia has been in the top five list of most vacation-deprived countries globally since 2015.
“Compared with the Americas and Europe, Asia-Pacific is leading the pack as the most vacation-deprived region, with South Korea topping the list, followed by France and Malaysia,” he added.
Further, the survey also revealed that one in three Malaysians would still check their work-related e-mails or voice mails at least once a day despite going on a vacation. This behaviour was due to their inability to detach themselves from work, and thus corroborating the fact that they did not get to fully enjoy their vacation.
However, Mr Fiquet added that Malaysians valued their holidays and considered that quality time off was crucial for better productivity and performance, and was a critical part of the work-life balance. Majority of Malaysian respondents (77 percent) agreed that they became more relaxed after returning from a vacation, and a significant percentage said they would become more productive and focused, and able to think more holistically after taking a break.
Breaking down the survey findings into sectors, those working in the marketing and media-related industry were found to be the most vacation-deprived globally, followed by those in the food and beverages and agricultural sectors.
At the same time, O Psych Sdn Bhd’s Organisational Psychologist and Certified Personal Coach, Hetal Doshi Suhana Daswani said that workplace and personal stress were increasingly affecting employee’s well-being at a global scale and the World Health Organisation had classified it as the health epidemic of the 21st century.
She said, “As such, taking taking time-off or vacationing to recover mentally, physically and emotionally from life’s demands has scientifically been proven to reduce stress, improve health, productivity, creativity and relationships.
“It is no wonder that there is an emergence of employers who are implementing wellness as part of their business strategy to improve employees experience and performance in the workplace,” she concluded.