Malaysian Employees are Vacation-Deprived, Reports Expedia

Expedia released the key results of its 2017 Expedia Vacation Deprivation Study that looks at the vacation habits of more than 15,000 employees across 30 countries, revealing that Malaysia is the third most vacation-deprived country globally and second within Asia Pacific.

According to the study, 65% described themselves as very or somewhat vacation deprived, implying that Malaysians desperately need to reset their work-life balance. 52% of Malaysian employees reported that they had to cancel their vacation plans for work and only 37% took all their entitled leaves.

The main reasons for this are due to the budget or affordability issues (35%), the desire to save up vacation days for a longer holiday (31%) and the unavailability to get away from work (26%).

All around the world, vacation deprivation is on the rise, with 53% of full-time working adults globally feeling they need a break in 2017, which is an increase from 49% in 2016. However, when compared to the Americas and Europe, Asia Pacific is leading as the most vacation-deprived region and South Korea tops the list, with 81% of full-time working adults feeling vacation-deprived.

The report also mentioned that the industries that are known for tight deadlines and long working hours, such as the marketing and media (66%) as well as food and beverages (62%) industries ranked as the two most vacation-deprived industries globally.

Hetal Doshi, Suhana Daswani, Registered Organizational Psychologist & Certified Professional Coach from O PSYCH Sdn Bhd; Simon Fiquet, General Manager of Southeast Asia & India, Expedia and Lavinia Rajaram, Regional Head of Communications, Expedia Asia revealed the 2017 Expedia Vacation Deprivation Report during the Expedia Malaysia Media Event 2018.

Meanwhile, 35% of working Malaysians still check their work-related emails at least once during vacations but 72% believes that it is their right to take vacations without feeling guilty.

“As one of the most socially engaged markets in the world, it is not surprising that employees in Malaysia find it hard to detach themselves from work but this also evidently corroborates that Malaysians do not get to fully enjoy their vacation. Our report provides valuable implications to both Malaysian employees and employers, that quality time off is crucial for better productivity and performance as a critical part of work-life balance,” said Simon Fiquet, General Manager of Expedia Southeast Asia and India.

Additionally, 77% of the respondents agree that they are more relaxed after coming back from a vacation, while 53% becomes more productive and 49% are more focused on getting things done.

Other highlights of the study include:

  • Malaysians aged 18 to 34 years old are the most vacation deprived age group (71%)
  • 54% of Malaysian employees actually spend time at work dreaming about vacations while 65% of them plan their vacations.
  • The happiest moments when on vacation is travelling and having quality time with family, partner or friends (75%), exploring something new (73%) and experiencing different cultures and cuisines (69%).
  • Malaysians are most likely to take one day of extra vacation to enjoy alcohol (55%), followed by television (49%), and dessert (39%).

“With the 2018 public holidays and long weekend travel calendar already planned out, this can help Malaysians to maximise their leave and go on more vacations, at least a short refresh from long weekend getaways, to enhance their personal and professional well-being,” Simon added.


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