Malaysians among the world’s top workaholics: Survey

November 21, 2012

PETALING JAYA – Malaysians are proving to be among the world’s biggest workaholics, with almost 90 per cent of the workforce working even when they are on holiday.

According to Expedia’s 2012 Vacation Deprivation Survey, Malaysia has the world’s fourth most dedicated workforce, after India, Brazil and Italy, with employees who can’t seem to “let go” of their work during vacations.

Conducted based on 8,000 employed adults from 22 countries throughout the globe, the survey also revealed that Malaysians spent about 40 hours a week at work but received only an average of 14 days of annual leave, among the lowest in the world.

The survey, by the online travel website, also found that despite the limited number of days, Malaysians, on average, did not use about 7 per cent of their leave.

The main reasons cited by respondents for not using up their leave include the option of carrying-forward their leave to the next calendar year, and being unable to coordinate travel dates with their travel partners.

A shocking 40 per cent of the respondents said they were reluctant to go on vacation because they feared their bosses would not be happy about it.

About 15 per cent were worried that going on holiday would reflect negatively on their careers.

“It is worrying that so many Malaysians feel guilty about going on holiday.

“Studies have shown that employees who take regular breaks to revitalise their minds and bodies are often more productive and effective in the workplace,” said AirAsia Expedia CEO Dan Lynn in a statement yesterday.

The survey found that respondents in most developed nations had cited financial constraints as the main reason for not going on vacation.

Among Malaysians, however, only 9 per cent of the respondents said they would sacrifice a holiday due to limited funds.

Asia proved to be the world’s most “vacation-deprived” region, with Asians taking the lowest number of holidays and clocking-in the most number of hours each week.

Europeans, on the other hand, have between 25 and 30 days of leave each year, without taking into account state and religious holidays.

British, Norwegian and Swedish workers said they utilised all 25 days given to them.

The Dutch, on the other hand, work only 35 hours a week, the lowest among the 22 countries surveyed.

Source: The Star/Asia News Network

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