As per Expedia’s latest vacation deprivation survey released yesterday, 63 percent of Singapore workers in 2018 felt they did not get enough vacation time.
Singapore moved up one spot to the sixth most vacation-deprived market in the world. Last year, 57 percent of the respondents in the region felt this way in 2017 in Singapore and 41 percent in 2016. This year the percentage increased to 63 percent.
88 percent of workforce in the country felt they deserved more annual leave last year. In fact, vacation deprivation is at such peak that 77 percent of them are ready to take a pay cut to get an extra day off.
Why are Singaporeans vacation-deprived?
The report highlights that half of those polled in Singapore did not use up their annual leave, mainly because they were unable to take time off work, with 39 percent citing this as a reason.
Some of the other reasons were the desire to save up time for a long holiday (30 percent) and being unable to afford a holiday (22 percent).
In terms of demographics, younger workers in Singapore represented higher levels of vacation deprivation sentiments compared to older workers. Nearly 67 percent of those aged 18 to 34 said they were deprived, compared to 65 percent of workers aged 35 to 49, and 52 per cent of those aged 50.
The workforce in Singapore have an additional problem that their supervisors want them to be available all the time. 30 percent of Singapore workers felt that their supervisors expected them to be available constantly. This percentage is even higher for countries like India and Malaysia.
While Singapore ranks 6th as the vacation-deprived country across the globe, other countries in the APAC region have also shown similar results.
In fact, Asia Pacific was the most vacation-deprived region, with seven in 10 of the most vacation-deprived markets coming from there.
In terms of the most vacation deprived country, India is at the lead, then followed by South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, France, Singapore, Thailand, Italy and the US.
Dealing with vacation-deprivation challenge
How can Singapore and other countries across the globe deal with this challenge of increased vacation-deprivation has become important to figure out.
As most of the workforce feel unable to take time off to relax, their mental health gets affected and the chances of burnout increases.
“Taking regular, quality vacations is known to provide numerous positive benefits to the personal and professional well-being of workers,” suggested Lavinia Rajaram, head of communications for Asia-Pacific at Brand Expedia.
As per Rajaram, it is now more important than ever for business leaders to identify the reasons behind these sentiments to foster an enabling culture for employees to take quality time off and make the most of their vacation time.
The employers have to find out new ways of how they can ensure that there employees get regular breaks and time to relax. As ultimately it is the productivity of their employees that get affected, employers must pay attention to this challenge.
There are many companies like Virgin and Netflix, who have scrapped their annual leave policy. They have even been able to reap the benefits of this unusual approach. They permit all salaried staff to take time off whenever they want, for as long as they want. This allows the employee to take a break when he or she feels like taking a few hours, a day, a week or a month off.
Some of the other methods adopted by companies also includes compulsory leaves. It is often found that employees don't utilize their annual leaves and don't take vacations. Employers can identify those employees and send them on compulsory leaves once a month or quarter, as per their business needs.
Many of the employees often don't take the annual leaves and opt to encash them, but if companies will not give them this option then they might actually utilize these leaves and take a break.
These are only some of the ways companies can adopt to overcome the vacation-deprivation challenge and enusre the mental and physical well being of their employees. As the problem continues to be on the rise, there are many more solutions business and HR leaders must find out.
Share your thoughts in the comment section on how do you think the employers can reduce the percentage of the vacation-deprived workforce.