Indians come on the top when it comes to preferring work over vacations and they tend to either cancel their holidays for urgent assignments or to indulge in office work even on off-days, a new survey says.
Such holiday habits have made India the world's fourth most 'vacation-deprived' nation, even as more than two-third of Indian bosses (also fourth highest globally) approve of their employees' vacation plans, found the survey by holiday service provider Expedia.
As per the survey, the top reasons making India a 'vacation-deprived' country include a tendency to accumulate leaves, inability to coordinate with travel partner, holding back the leaves for money, work pressure and fear of important office-related developments when absent.
“Vacations play an important role in relaxing and re-energising the employees while enhancing their motivation and productivity... Expedia strongly believes that vacations are an essential part of a healthy work life.” said Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head, Expedia India.
“In India, while the bosses have softened their stance on leaves from last year, the median numbers of leaves given have dropped significantly from 25 in 2011 to 20 this year. Indians still rank second globally in the number of people logging in during vacation with 47% checking regularly and 39% checking sometimes,” said Ahluwalia, adding,”These trends indicate the increasing levels of stress and further highlight the importance of a good break.”
In the past one year itself, the average vacation period undertaken by an Indian has fallen from 25 days to 20 days. Last year, India was world's fifth most vacation deprived country.
Globally, France comes on the top in terms of number of vacation days (30), while Japanese takes the minimum (five). Meanwhile, American and Mexican workers take 10 days each.
Europeans treat vacation as a "duty rather than a perk" the report said as workers in France and Spain report taking the full 30 vacation days off. Germans take 28, while British, Norwegian and Swedish workers take all 25 days they are given.
In a sharp contrast, Asian workers take the fewest days off and work the longest weeks.
Korean, Singaporean and Taiwanese workers report a median of 44 hour work weeks. Americans work 40 hours, the most common figure. The Dutch work 35 hours a week, the fewest among the 22 nations surveyed.
"We conduct this study each year and I am consistently surprised to see how differently each nation treats vacation time," Expedia.com general manager John Morrey said.
Morrey further said that "studies consistently show that an ideal work-life balance leads to happier and more productive employees."
The study is an annual analysis of vacation habits across 22 countries and was conducted online by Harris Interactive among 8,687 employed adults in September and October 2012 on behalf of Expedia.com in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Australia.