No Work-Life Balance? Malaysians In General Are Vacation-Deprived, Says Study

No Work-Life Balance? Malaysians In General Are Vacation-Deprived, Says StudyNo Work-Life Balance? Malaysians In General Are Vacation-Deprived, Says Study

Malaysia is the third most vacation-deprived country IN THE WORLD.

Have you ever found yourself overworked and desperately wishing for your next vacation? We’ve all been in that position of being totally vacation-deprived.

But sometimes, when we take a vacation, are we really taking a break and enjoying our holiday?

Some of us still remain connected to work, checking up on emails everyday and following up with colleagues on ongoing projects.

This is not the way to have a holiday.

Shockingly, despite the INCREDIBLE number of public holidays Malaysians get in a year, we’re still vacation-deprived!

Vacation-deprived Malaysia is top three in the world


Source: Pixabay

According to the results the 2017 Vacation Deprivation Study, commissioned by travel booking website Expedia, Malaysia is the third most vacation deprived country in the world.

Almost two-thirds of Malaysian respondents (65%) described themselves as very or somewhat vacation deprived, with 52% cancelling their holiday plans due to work.

The study also showed that only 37% respondents of the 400 participants surveyed took all their entitled leaves in a year.

Simon Fiquet, Expedia general manager (South-East Asia and India), says the results aren’t surprising since Malaysia is one of the most socially engaged markets in the world.

Not fully able to enjoy their holiday


Source: Pixabay

“Employees in Malaysia find it hard to detach themselves from work but this also evidently corroborates that Malaysians don’t get to fully enjoy their vacation,” he says.

More than one-third of Malaysians (35%) checked their work-related e-mail or voicemail at least once a day while on vacation and 38% felt stressed on holiday after checking in on work.

Quality time (and not just taking a vacation for the sake of it), according to Fiquet, is a critical part of work-life balance.

“There’s a part of your brain called dopamine that will be overworked. Humans are numbing themselves when they overwork and this will cause them to overreact at other things in life,” says local organisational psychologist Hetal Doshi-Suhana Daswani.

Taking a break, Hetal adds, might even help you with career progression.

“If you’re able to take the time out to tune out everything, it is likely that you will get promoted faster – purely because you understand and think better,” she says.

Some of us might be worried about being vacation-shamed

No Work-Life Balance? Malaysians In General Are Vacation-Deprived, Says Study


Source: Pixabay

“There’s a general non-understanding about vacationing for working people. When we ask some employees, they have this perception that their bosses don’t encourage them to go on holidays. But that might not always be the case,” she says.

She adds that there is also something called “vacation shaming” that happens in Malaysia.

“(People wonder what) colleagues might think if (they) go on a holiday. That sense of envy and jealousy can also take place among some people at the office,” she explains.

But there is a way to overcome being vacation-deprived this with these 3 methods:


Source: Pixabay

1. Remind your colleagues in advance about your leave

“One of the reasons people cancel is because they forget to remind their colleagues and their bosses that they will be going away,” Hetal says. To prevent that, remind your colleagues way in advance that you will be taking leave and if there is an internal system for you to remind them, ensure they are up-to-date.

2. Practice the debit-credit system

“Get your colleagues to cover for you while you’re away. When it’s time for them to take their own vacation, make sure you do the same and help them out with their workload,” Hetal says.

3. Set a good example as a manager

If you are in a managerial position, a good way to show the importance of work-life balance in your company is to set a positive example. A good manager will have to problems going on vacation and disconnecting from any work issues.

It shows trust to your employees as well as a strong company culture that work-life balance and employee well-being are important.

“I take all my leave. When I’m on a holiday, I try not to check my e-mail. But if something really urgent pops up, my team can reach me on WhatsApp,” Fiquet says.

Source: The Star


Do you think you’re vacation-deprived? What are you doing to fix that?

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Written by

Sarah Voon