BANGKOK, 2 March 2018: Surprisingly for a country that has one of the highest annual public holiday tallies, 81% of Thais surveyed said they deserved more vacation days than they were given.
The findings were highlighted in the latest Expedia Vacation Deprivation Study that looked at vacation habits of more than 15,000 working adults across 30 countries globally.
Thais were not alone in expressing the need for more vacation days. The desire for more days off was stronger in three other nations in Asia — South Korean (88%), Hong Kong (86%) and Taiwan (84%). India at 81% matched the Thailand response.
Predictably the 2017 study also revealed that 76% of Thais spend their time at work dreaming about vacations.
Expedia general manager Southeast Asia and India, Simon Fique, said: “Every year, Expedia Vacation Deprivation study looks at vacation habits across several different continents. While habits differ, the emotional impact of vacation does not. Somewhere between 80 to 90% of people, worldwide, say that vacations make them feel happier, better rested, closer to their family, less stressed and more relaxed. These are all emotions that correlate to a productive employee”.
Vacation deprivation is on the rise worldwide, but Asia-Pacific leads the pack
According to the 2017 study, 53% of full-time working adults globally feel vacation-deprived, an increase from 49% 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% of full-time working adults feeling deprived of vacations.
In Thailand, despite a trend for Thai employers to be supportive of vacations, employees still take less than given amount of annual leave
Diving deeper into the reasons behind the feeling of vacation deprivation among Thai workers, the study revealed that almost half (51%) of full-time workers in Thailand take fewer days of annual leave than the amount they receive.
On average, Thais take eight days of annual leave a year, less than the 10 working days of annual leave they receive on average.
This was largely the result of employees saving their leave in case something comes up in the future (45%)
Employees’ work schedules do not allow for vacation or there are insufficient resources to cover the work (37%). Difficulty in coordinating time to take a vacation that works with family, partner or friend (30%
Employees carry their leave over to the next year for a longer vacation (30%)
Asians are much more likely to leave days on the table – with Japanese (65%), Malaysian (63%) and Indian (55%) workers the most likely to take less days than they received.
Many of these workers said they are simply too busy at work to take all of the vacation days they were allotted – which is the case for large majorities of South Korean (70%), Indian (64%) and Japanese (62%) workers.
The professions most vacation deprived are:
- Marketing & Media at 66%
- Food & Beverage at 62%
- Education at 47%
- Government at 49%
Among those who cannot afford a holiday are:
- Agriculture at 52%
- Marketing & Media at 45%
- Food & Beverage at 41%
- Retail at 40%
- Education at 37%
Hooked on technology
Unfortunately, as the world becomes more digitally focused, people are checking in on work via email or voicemail more often while on vacation, with 27% checking in at least once a day in 2017, up from 24% in 2016.