S'pore workers' time-off woes

S'pore workers' time-off woes

Singaporeans are workaholics, as evidenced by the results of a 22-country survey.

Almost half of over 300 Singapore employees polled (41 per cent) have either cancelled or postponed their time-off due to work commitments and more than three quarters (80 per cent) have checked in on work matters during vacation.

The Expedia 2012 Vacation Deprivation survey, conducted by global Internet-based travel firm Expedia, confirms the country's poor work-life-balance record.

Conducted online between September and last month, it compares the vacationing habits and attitudes of over 8,500 employees in Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.

Singapore respondents cite pressure from the top as a key factor as to why they fail to clear all their annual leave, resulting in many of them rolling over vacation days to the following year.

Tellingly, Singapore bosses ranked No. 10 for not being supportive of their employees taking time off work.

Other Asian bosses are even less empathetic: South Korea, Taiwan and Japan all ranked in the top five of that list.

Close to 19 per cent of the Singapore respondents also said that they are unable to plan their vacations in advance, as it depends on their work schedule.

According to the survey, more worrying is the fact that 11 per cent of Singapore respondents indicated that "work is life" for them, while 14 per cent were under the impression that taking a holiday would reflect badly on them.

Mr Dan Lynn, chief executive of AirAsiaExpedia - a joint venture between Air Asia and Expedia - said: "Given the increasing pressures of working long hours in Asia, employees ought to fully use their well-earned vacation days to recharge and re-energise.

"We hope that Singaporeans will be encouraged to take a well-earned break and connect with the world outside of the workplace, instead of letting those vacation days expire quietly."

On the whole, the study showed that Asia represents the world's most vacation-deprived region, with employees continuing to take the fewest days off and working the longest weeks.

Asian employees were found to work the longest weeks, with Korean, Singaporean and Taiwanese workers clocking in an average of 44 hours weekly.

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