• Australians leaving a week of annual leave unused
• Vacationing Aussies urged to ‘unplug’ from work in 2014
• French lead world in vacations taken yet feel most vacation-deprived
As the holiday period comes to an end and the new work year begins, Expedia is urging Australian workers to reconsider their attitude toward work-life balance after its annual Vacation Deprivation Report revealed, on average, Aussie employees left a quarter or a week of their annual leave days unused in 2013.
The global survey, which polled 8,535 employed adults across 24 countries, revealed Australians are struggling to live up to their reputation of being a laidback nation, taking only 15 of a possible 20 days of annual leave and regularly checking work emails while on holidays.
This means that with more than 11.6 million employed Australians , a potential 58 million days of annual leave went unused in 2013.
The top reasons Aussies use for not taking leave are stockpiling leave for potential future trips, affordability and difficulty coordinating holidays with family and/or friends.
This is in stark contrast to other nations – particularly the French and Brazilians – who both use all of their 30 allocated annual leave days. Despite taking all of their holidays, 90% of employed French adults still claim to feel vacation-deprived, more than any other country.
Japan, for the fifth consecutive year, was the most vacation deprived nation, with employed adults taking an average of only seven days annual leave out of a possible 18.
“No one retires wishing they’d spent more time at their desk. The New Year is a fresh start and a chance to reconsider our attitude toward work-life balance,” said Kelly Cull, Expedia travel expert.
“Not only are holidays beneficial for our personal life, but rested employees are more productive employees, so companies should be actively encouraging their staff to take regular vacations. You can’t over holiday!”
Other findings from Expedia’s Vacation Deprivation Report include:
Who feels vacation deprived?
• More than half (57%) of employed Australian adults say they feel vacation deprived, below the global average of 62%
• Norwegians are the least likely to complain they don’t get enough holidays, with only 17% saying they feel vacation deprived
Vacation time received and taken
• In contrast with Australians, employees in Austria, France, UK, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, Hong Kong and Brazil take all of their allocated vacation days; Japanese workers take less than half
• Globally, workers miss out on five days’ vacation on average, citing reasons such as economic conditions, trouble coordinating friends or family and accumulating leave
Unplugging from work
• Two thirds (67%) of Australian workers admit to checking their work email and/ or voicemail while on holiday, below the global average of 76%. German workers (43%) are least likely to stay connected to work during a holiday
• 65% of employees globally say their boss is supportive of them taking holidays. Norwegians lead the global pack at 88%, while 73% of Australians agree
When do we feel relaxed?
• More than half (54%) of Australians feel they can leave work behind and relax as soon as they depart for vacation. Two thirds (67%) of holidaymakers from the Netherlands feel this way, compared to only 48% of people globally
• Almost 1 in 5 Japanese employees (18%) are never able to leave their work behind and fully relax while on vacation, up on the global average of 10%. Less than one in ten (8%) Aussies say they feel this way
Work in the way?
• Less than a third (31%) of Australian employees have reported cancelling or postponing a vacation due to work. Indian workers are the most likely (74%) to do so, compared to 43% of global respondents