S’porean Ranks 6th Most Vacation-Deprived People In The World

Last Updated on 2022-10-04 , 12:36 pm

Going overseas is great. Not only does it mean that I can complain that my boss is fat without anyone I know to bao toh me, but it’s also a whole new world to explore.

It’s freedom from our claustrophobic little red dot.

Sundays? Still can receive work calls and e-mails. But overseas? I ain’t receiving any calls. I have “no data” and my phone “out of signal range”.


*Random boss appears*: Nothing your head. Faster finish this article.

Me: But…but…this survey says deprivation! And this survey shows I should be napping now! 

Boss: Hahahahahahaha, don’t believe any internet surveys you see. This survey might be biased… This one shows you’re happy…Get back to work.

Identifying potential bias in the survey

A media release for Brand Expedia 2018 Vacation Deprivation® Study shows something…interesting.

The main purpose of this survey is to see if the “number of vacation days they receive is adequate for today’s working environment”.

Expedia Group is a travel technology company, and run a travel booking website expedia.com. So this here is a potential bias since it means that they have the incentive to make you want to travel.

They conducted the survey with 11,000 full-time working adults across 19 markets, with 300 respondents in Singapore of unknown jobs. We don’t know how they conducted the survey.

The rest of the report is mostly just stating survey stats. But take note of what we don’t know. What is shown here will try to use press release wordings so the meaning doesn’t change.

S’pore 6th most vacation deprived

Survey stats in 2018:

  • 88% Singaporeans felt they deserve more vacation days (76% in 2017)
  • 77% expressed willingness to take a pay cut for 1 extra day of vacation
  • 63% said that they are deprived of vacations (57% in 2017 and 41% in 2016)
  • Compared to the global average, S’poreans’ feelings of deprivation increasing more rapidly
  • 58% of full-time workers globally feel deprived of vacations in 2018 (53% in 2017 and 49% in 2016)
  • Asia Pacific showed as the most vacation-deprived region

Me: Boss? Boss, you see this???

Looking into demographics of S’pore respondents, 67% of aged 18 to 34 said that they are deprived of vacations, compared to 65% of aged 35 to 49 and 52% of workers aged 50 and above.

Boss: It’s just feelings, not fact. S’pore 7th place in most well-travelled. Strawberry generation…

Not free from work even during vacations

Survey stats in 2018:

  • Half of the Singaporeans surveyed take fewer days of annual leave than they receive
  • Reasons being unable to get time off work at 39% (highest in the world), desire to save up time for a long holiday (30%) and being unable to afford a holiday (22%).

Me: Boss? We can still improve this 39%?

When S’poreans do go for holidays,

  • 53% tend to stay connected to work during vacation
  • 79% check emails or voicemail at least once, of which 27% do so at least once a day
  • 30% say they are expected to be available constantly by their supervisors (3rd highest globally after India and Malaysia)

Boss: Ya, can, but remember to check e-mail ar? Also, bring your laptop.

Me: No… I can stand for this no longer!

Vacations important for worker well-being

According to the survey on professional well-being:

  • 86% of Singaporean workers said they return to work with a more positive attitude
  • 85% said they return more focused
  • 84% said that they are more productive

And it also improved personal well-being:

  • 92% felt a vacation gives them a chance to hit the “reset” button on stress and anxiety
  • 91% felt regular vacations are important for general health and well-being, and help them feel better connected to friends and family
  • 89% said they feel rejuvenated and have a better outlook on life following a vacation

70% of S’poreans have taken at least one mental health day in a year, the 5th highest after India (86%), Thailand (76%), Italy (75%) and Malaysia (74%). S’poreans took 3 mental health days last year and an additional 2.8 days on average for life administration on average.

Rather than waste time and money on these by visiting doctors and taking MC, better to just acknowledge karoshi is a thing and giving off right?