Aussies put downtime ahead of the daily grind in quest for work/life balance

On January 13, 2016 at 02:31 AM

Expedia’s 2015 Vacation Deprivation study reveals Aussies are taking the most annual leave in seven years

·         The average Aussie leaves two annual leave days unused, down from five days in 2014

·         Seven in ten (72%) Aussies don’t feel guilty at all about taking annual leave and see it as their right

Sydney, Australia, January 13, 2016– As the new working year begins and the post-holiday high wears off, new research from Expedia® shows Australians are keeping a close eye on their annual leave balance and are making the most of their awarded time-off.

Now in its 15th year, the 2015 Vacation Deprivation® study surveyed 9,273 employed adults across 26 countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and South America. Globally, the report found that the median number of paid annual leave days available to workers is just less than 25 days per year, in addition to public holidays. Collectively workers take about 20 of them, leaving 20% unused.

In Australia, employees are entitled to, on average, 20 days per year. Whilst almost two thirds (63%) of Aussies take all their entitled annual leave, the average Australian has two days unused each year – the lowest amount in seven years – indicating Aussies are increasingly keen to make the most of their time off work and value the benefits of taking annual leave.  

Kelly Cull, Expedia.com.au travel expert, commented on the report: “As Aussies, we love to travel but often the pressure of work and life can stop us taking as many holidays as we’d like. It’s a significant shift to see Aussies taking the most annual leave in seven years and it’s encouraging as the benefits are clear.”

Countries across Europe are renowned for their generous annual leave entitlements - workers in Germany, France, Spain and are entitled to 30 days of leave, on average, and take them all. South Koreans are the world’s most vacation deprived workers – while they’re offered 15 days on average, they take only six days off within a given year.

Holidays = Happy, rested and more focused employees
The majority (89%) of Australians understand regular holidays are important for general health and wellbeing and when asked about the impact of a holiday on their overall happiness, almost all Australians (91%) said it has an impact to some degree.

When it comes to rest, two in five (44%) Aussies feel they start to reap the rewards of annual leave as soon as they start their holiday and a further 23% say they truly begin to relax the moment they reach their destination. Half (49%) of those surveyed claim to have more than eight hours sleep a night when on holiday, compared to only 27% when they are at home.  

And while, only 15% say their holiday high lasts more than a week post-trip, after a holiday, Australian workers believe they are:

-       Better rested (92%)

-       Happier (89%)

-       Less stressed/more relaxed (89%)

-       Closer to family/friends (83%)

-       More focused at work (77%)

 

More than one in ten (15%) Australians book their next trip within a month of coming back from leave. Those really eager to start dreaming about their next break admit to booking holidays within a week of returning (8%), the day they return (9%) and even during their current holiday (3%).

While annual leave might make most Aussies happy, for some it can also cause feelings of guilt for leaving work behind for colleagues or fears of being perceived as a ‘slacker’ by their boss. Workers in some countries, such as France, feel their bosses disapprove of them taking leave, creating a sense of holiday-guilt. Australians, however, feel no such remorse: 72% of Aussies don’t feel guilty at all about taking leave and see it as their right, and one in five (21%) said they feel somewhat guilty but take annual leave anyway. 

Interestingly, of all the age groups, 13% of Aussie Gen Ys fear taking leave as they were worried it would be perceived negatively by their bosses (6% for those aged 35-54 and 3% for those aged 55 and over).

Kelly Cull, commented:“It’s positive to see Aussies understand the benefits of taking leave on their health and wellbeing. Whether we are travelling the world, spending the time with family and friends, or relaxing time out from work is important. And even though we’re just starting the New Year, right now is a great time to book travel. There are so many amazing travel deals available across Australia and the world, an affordable break to rest and recharge the batteries in 2016 is only a few clicks away.”

Aussies choose multiple short getaways over one long break
When looking at how they choose to spend their leave, more and more Aussies (50%) are choosing multiple short getaways rather than one long holiday (35%). While some have their sights set on interstate or international destinations, 5% of Aussies take leave to take care of errands.

Switching off
While two in five Aussies (42%) say they don’t check emails and voicemails at all, not all workers respect the work life divide while on holiday.  When asked how often they check emails and voicemails on a seven day holiday, more than one in ten (12%) would check them once a day, a quarter (24%) would check them once or twice and 11% would check them three or four times during the week.
 

The full Vacation Deprivation list – vacation days offered versus days taken – follows:

 

Country

 

 

Vacation Days Offered

 

Days Taken

 

Number Unused

Australia

20

18

2

Austria

25

25

Brazil

30

30

Canada

15

15

Denmark

30

28

2

Finland

30

30

France

30

30

Germany

30

30

Hong Kong

15

15

India

20

15

5

Ireland

21

20

1

Italy

30

25

5

Japan

20

12

8

Malaysia

14

10

4

Mexico

15

12

3

Netherlands

25

22

3

New Zealand

20

15

5

Norway

25

25

Singapore

15

14

1

South Korea

15

6

9

Spain

30

30

Sweden

30

25

5

Thailand

10

10

UAE

30

30

USA

15

11

4

UK

25

25

 

ENDS

 

For further information, interviews or images please contact:

 

Sabine Leroy, Haystac

(02) 8094 7762 or 0421 815 068

sabine.leroy@haystac.com.au  

Kirsty Burgess, Haystac

(02) 8094 7507 or 0478 010 533

kirsty.burgess@haystac.com.au

 

About the Survey

This study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar, a globally integrated strategic insights consulting firm.  This survey was conducted online from October 6 -22, 2015 across North America, Europe, South America and Asia Pacific using the Kantar-owned GMI (Global Market Insite) and Lightspeed Research amalgamated group of panels.  The study was conducted among 9,273 employed adults aged 18 years of age and older across 26 countries.

Sampling quotas and weighting were used to ensure the sample is representative of each country’s population in terms of age and gender. Assuming a probability sample, the margin of error would be +/-1.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About the Expedia group

The Expedia group (NASDAQ: EXPE) is one of the world’s leading travel companies, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes leading online travel brands, such as:

 

  • Expedia.com®, a leading full service online travel company with localized sites in 32 countries
  • Hotels.com®, the hotel specialist that offers Hotels.com® Rewards and Secret Prices through its mobile booking apps and localized websites in more than 65 countries
  • Hotwire®, a leading discount travel site that offers Hot Rate® Hotels, Hot Rate® Cars and Hot Rate® Airfares, as well as vacation packages
  • Travelocity®, a pioneer in online travel and a leading online travel brand in the US and Canada

·         Orbitz Worldwide, a global travel portfolio including Orbitz, ebookers, HotelCluband CheapTickets, brands and business-to-business offerings, including Orbitz Partner Networkand Orbitz for Business

  • Egencia®, a leading corporate travel management company
  • Venere.com™, the online hotel reservation specialist in Europe
  • trivago®, a leading online hotel search with sites in 52 countries worldwide

·         Wotif Group,  a leading portfolio of travel brands including Wotif.com®, Wotif.co.nz, lastminute.com.au®, lastminute.co.nzand travel.com.au®

  • Expedia Local Expert®, a provider of online and in-market concierge services, activities, experiences and ground transportation in hundreds of destinations worldwide
  • Classic Vacations®, a top luxury travel specialist
  • Expedia® CruiseShipCenters®, a provider of exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of 200 retail travel agency franchises across North America
  • CarRentals.com, the premier car rental booking company on the web

 

The company delivers consumers value in leisure and business travel, drives incremental demand and direct bookings to travel suppliers, and provides advertisers the opportunity to reach a highly valuable audience of in-market consumers through Expedia® Media Solutions. Expedia also powers bookings for thousands of affiliates, including some of the world’s leading airlines, top consumer brands and high traffic websites through Expedia Affiliate Network. For corporate and industry news and views, visit us at www.expediainc.comor follow us on Twitter @expediainc.

 

Trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners.  © 2016 Expedia, Inc.  All rights reserved.  CST: 2029030-50

About Northstar

NORTHSTAR is a strategic marketing insights and consulting firm that aligns leading edge, customized research techniques and cultural context with proprietary and proven strategic marketing frameworks and models to drive insights to impact. Northstar’s suite of services relate to the most critical elements of brand, customer and marketing strategy, with sector expertise in travel and tourism, retail, automotive, CPG, food & beverage, financial services, pharma / health care, transportation and fashion / luxury.  For more information, please go to www.northstarhub.com.

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