9 out of 10 Malaysians Just Can't Stop ‘Workcationing’

On November 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM



Expedia’s 2012 Vacation Deprivation® Survey reveals Malaysian workforce amongst the most dedicated in the world 

Kuala Lumpur: 19 November 2012– Close to 90% of the Malaysian workforce never truly ‘let go’ of work while on holiday, according to Expedia’s 2012 Vacation Deprivation® Survey, an annual analysis of the diverse holiday habits of travellers around the world.Based on the global survey by Expedia, the world’s leading online travel agency, Malaysians are the world’s fourth most dedicated workforce, behind their counterparts in India, Brazil and Italy, who just can’t stop ‘workcationing’.

The 2012 study compares vacationing habits and attitudes of over 8,000 employed adults in 22 countries across Asia, Australasia, North and South America and Europe. This is the first time that Malaysia has been included in the survey.

Results of the survey disclose some worrying insights into the work-life balance of Malaysian professionals. According to the study, Malaysians spend about 40 hours a week at work, , but received an average of only 14 days annual leave, one of the lowest globally.

Despite the limited number of vacation days, workaholic Malaysians still did not utilise about 7% of their leave. The option to roll-over leave to the next calendar year and the inability to coordinate their time with their holiday partners were cited as the main reasons why Malaysians choose to forego their holidays. A staggering 40% claimed they were reluctant to take a vacation as they were unsure if their bosses were supportive of them taking time off. A further 15% were also concerned that their holiday would reflect negatively on their professional careers.

“It is worrying that so many Malaysian professionals feel guilty about going on a holiday. Everyone deserves some time to rest, relax and re-energise, particularly in today’s fast-paced world. I love my team to go on vacations as 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 Dan Lynn, CEO, AirAsiaExpedia.

In most developed nations, finances were commonly cited as one of the main reasons for not going on a vacation. However, it seems that financial considerations were not as important to Malaysians when planning a holiday. Although only 17% of those surveyed described their financial situation as being “solid” or “good”, only 9% said they would sacrifice a holiday due to limited funds.

“We want to make it very simple and affordable for Malaysians to go on a vacation as often as they can. With over 400 airlines with thousands of daily flights, 150,000 hotels globally as well as dynamic holiday packages at unbeatable value, Expedia.com.my offers travellers from Malaysia the perfect opportunity to get away for some much needed rest,” added Dan.   

On the whole, the study showed that Asia represents the world’s most vacation-deprived region, with Asian workers continuing to take the fewest vacation days. Japanese workers trail the field; the average Japanese worker is granted 13 days off each year, but takes only five while South Koreans take seven out of a possible ten vacation days. Asian workers also work the longest weeks with Korean, Singaporean and Taiwanese workers reporting 44 hour work weeks, on average.

On the other end of the spectrum, Europeans treat vacation as a duty rather than a perk. Most European workers have between 25 and 30 days of vacation time available to them each year, in addition to state and religious holidays. Workers in France and Spain report taking the full 30 vacation days off, as do their peers in Brazil. Germans take 28 of a possible 30 days off, while British, Norwegian and Swedish workers utilise all 25 days given to them. The Dutch work 35 hours a week, the least among the 22 nations surveyed.


Harris Interactive® fielded the online survey on behalf of Expedia between September 13 and October 12, 2012 among a nationwide cross-section of 8,687 employed adults aged 16+ in 22 countries.  The data were weighted to be representative of the total adult population on the basis of region, age and gender.  In theory, with probability samples of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results for the sample have a sampling error of plus or minus 1 percentage point. 

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