MALAYSIA may be notorious for having what some have described as “too many” public holidays but a recent study on the vacation habits of locals revealed a surprising trend: much as Malaysians love a good break, many are too busy to take time off and the majority don’t even use up their quota of paid leave.
The big question is: Why?
According to the study by British Airways, the reason for this is work. The study that surveyed 2,000 respondents said even when Malaysians did go on breaks in 2017, the time they took away from work was kept to a minimum at just five to nine days.
Additionally, those who went on breaks admitted they weren’t completely able to get work off their minds. As a result, 75 percent said they would return from holidays wishing they could go on another, while 28 percent said they’d wish they had taken more time off.
This, the study added, is because the prospect of applying for breaks that stretch on for two weeks or longer is generally seen by Malaysians as off-limits.
Fifty-seven percent said they were concerned about work piling up in their absence while 21 percent said they were simply too afraid to ask for that much time off. Some (18 percent) said they were afraid of being judged by colleagues for being away from the desk for long periods.
Frm news today: Malaysians ranked 4th amongst the most workaholic countries with employees working even when they are on vacation!
— BrianMasterchefMY (@AbangBrian) November 20, 2012
But is this fear unreasonable?
Perhaps not, as the study also discovered that 55 percent felt a two-week break is strongly discouraged in their workplace and 13 percent felt long breaks are entirely frowned upon, even when company policy allows for longer vacations.
The study indicates that although Malaysians have a flair for travel and an interest in international culture, the element of dread and anticipation is holding back wannabe-vacationers from fulfilling their sun-soaked, culture-clustered travel dreams.
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“The survey reaffirms Malaysians love for travel. One of the key findings, however, is that work commitment plays an important role in their choice of destination and length of vacation,” said Vivian Tan-Loh, British Airways country manager for Malaysia.
“Many find it hard to switch off and enjoy their time out of the office. While work commitment is laudable, I think it is important to acknowledge we all need time to unwind and relax in order to perform at our best,” she added.
The silver lining of the report highlights that any untaken leave can be compensated in payment or carried forward to the next year. This leftover leave, however, is largely the result of employees wanting to save up to take a trip but never getting around to it.
Could this vacation deprivation change in 2018?
Sixty-four percent said they were planning an Asian cultural break in 2018 and 45 percent said a European city or beach break would suit them wonderfully, so perhaps this will be the year Malaysians will find the pizazz to take that much-needed break and head away to recuperate.
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