Singapore

Singaporeans 6th most vacation-deprived globally

77% of respondents willing to take pay cut to get extra day off

Singaporeans need more time away from the daily grind, according to a new survey out yesterday.

It found that around 60 per of full-time workers felt "vacation-deprived" last year, with 40 per cent saying they could not get enough time off work to use up their annual leave.

A striking 77 per cent said they would take a pay cut just to get an extra day off, noted the survey by travel agency Expedia, which polled around 11,000 full-time working adults across 19 markets, including 300 here.

The finding that 63 per cent of workers here felt they did not get enough vacation time last year moved Singapore up one spot to the sixth most vacation-deprived market in the world.

Expedia found that 57 per cent felt this way in 2017 and only 41 per cent in 2016.

The vacation deprivation sentiment grew more rapidly in Singapore compared with the global average.

There was a 6 per cent bump in 2018 over 2017 - the fourth largest increase in the world. India and Thailand led the way on about 14 per cent followed by the US.

It also emerged from the survey that half of those polled here did not use up their annual leave, mainly because they were unable to take time off work.

Other reasons included the desire to save up time for a long holiday or being unable to afford a break.

"Taking regular, quality vacations is known to provide numerous positive benefits to the personal and professional well-being of workers," said Ms Lavinia Rajaram, head of communications for Asia-Pacific at Brand Expedia.

"As vacation deprivation continues to rise in Singapore, it is now more important than ever for business leaders to... foster an enabling culture for employees to make the most of their vacation time, for the good of their personal and professional well-being in the long run," Ms Rajaram said.

The survey also noted that "mental-health days" are a growing trend. About 70 per cent of Singapore respondents said they took at least one day off in the past year to relieve stress and focus on their mental well-being. On average, workers here took three mental-health days last year.

Employees here also remained connected to their work even when they are on holiday, with more than half admitting to doing so. Almost 80 per cent check their e-mails or voicemails at least once while on holiday.

On top of that, 30 per cent of Singapore workers also felt that their supervisors expected them to be available constantly - the third highest percentage globally after India and Malaysia.

Globally, 58 per cent of full-time workers said they were deprived of holidays last year, up from 53 per cent in 2017 and 49 per cent in 2016.

CONSUMER ISSUES