India is the fourth most vacation-deprived country in the world, according to a recent survey by Expedia, an international travel company. While 67 per cent of Indians surveyed complained that they experienced various levels of vacation-deprivation, almost a quarter of the respondents revealed that the prospect of more vacation days would entice them to change jobs. Additionally, 96 per cent of Indians surveyed said they would be willing to make sacrifices for more vacation days.
The study, conducted among 7,855 individuals across 24 countries, observes Indians are also increasingly opting for multiple short vacations instead of a long holiday, with almost 50 per cent of the respondents banking on extended weekends.
“Vacations play an important role in maintaining the work-life balance of employees while re-energising them to be more focused at work. According to the survey, Indians are globally highest at feeling more focused at work (50 per cent) after a vacation,” said Vikram Malhi, managing director, Asia, Expedia.
While the feeling of sleep deprivation, experienced by 64 per cent of Indians, stems from not getting enough vacation days, 36 per cent say it arises from not taking all of their available vacation days. The reasons for not using the entire vacation time are manifold. The major ones include inability to coordinate time, saving their leaves for a longer vacation next year or monetising the unused vacation days.
The study shows that employers were less supportive of their employees taking holidays – falling from 65 per cent the previous year to 55 per cent this year. However, there are cases in contrast – a recent Virgin Atlantic directive from Richard Branson offered his staff “unlimited holidays” if they themselves deemed it prudent.
After Thailand, Indians cancel vacations the most due to work commitments, with 74 per cent of the respondents saying they have done that at some point or the other.
- Indians receive an average of 19.6 vacation days from their employers each year. They take an average of 15.5 vacation days
- 40% of Indians cannot plan vacation in advance due to work, 4th highest after Thailand (43%), Singapore & South Korea (42%)
- Indians second highest in cancelling vacation plans due to work (74%), after Thailand (77%)
- 50% of Indians typically use their vacation days to take several short vacations/long weekend trips, while 26% say they typically take their days as one long trip
- Overall, individuals from India (96%), Italy (92%) and UAE (92%) are the most willing to make sacrifices for more vacation days
- Globally, 15% feel guilty about taking vacation days. Indians rank fourth at 20%, while Japanese top the list at 26%