6 out of 10 Singaporeans Feel Vacation-Deprived, According to New Study. Are You One of Them?

6 out of 10 Singaporeans Feel Vacation-Deprived, According to New Study. Are You One of Them?

Is Singapore just not that vacation-day-friendly?
singaporeans vacation

Image credit: Unsplash

Let’s face it: with an average of about 14 annual leave days a year, it’s not hard to see why Singaporeans feel vacation-deprived.

Coupled with social media’s unfailing ability to saturate your feed with EVERYONE else’s travel photos, it’s understandable.

According to findings from the latest Brand Expedia 2018 Vacation-Deprivation Study, vacation deprivation (oh yes, it’s a thing apparently) is on the rise among full-time workers in Singapore and across the globe.

63% of Singaporeans feel deprived of holidays – and want more annual leave!

In 2018, 63% (that’s about 6 out of 10 Singaporeans) feel that they are deprived of vacations, placing us 6th on the list of most vacation-deprived societies in the world. In fact, almost 9 out of 10 Singaporeans feel like they deserve more annual leave.

Image credit: Expedia

Other cities that rank highly on vacation-deprivation include India, South Korea, France, and Hong Kong. (I can’t lie – I’m surprised France ranks high. I used to work in a French office and they had pretty generous vacation days.)

According to the study, vacation-deprivation sentiments appear to be an Asia-Pacific issue, with seven in 10 of the most vacation-starved markets hailing from APAC.

Singaporeans Still Work Even While on Vacay

The study also discovered Singaporean workers do not even use all of their annual leave, citing reasons like being unable to get time off work (39% of Singaporean respondents – the HIGHEST in the world), followed by other reasons like being unable to afford a holiday (22%).

And even while on holidays, Singaporeans remain connected to their work, reporting the need to feel “constantly available by their supervisors”.

This begets the question: as modern and progressive as Singapore might seem, is our work culture and attitudes towards vacation days still lagging?

Is ‘Vacation-Shaming’ True of Singapore’s Work Culture?

Granted, vacation-deprivation in some ways sounds like a trifling first-world problem, especially when you consider that there are truly pressing global issues out there. However, there is a far bigger implication our cultural attitudes on vacation leave and rest days have on how we prioritize health and well-being in general.

Studies have shown that vacations are a great, healthy way for people to take a break from work and channel their focus to their well-being for a change.

While the study reports that there “mental health days” are a growing trend in Singapore, it is still not as normalized as we’d like to think. Taking “mental health days” or breaks from work in many ways still remains a stigma  – something we can all hope will evolve in time.


About Author

Sarah Khan
Sarah Khan

Loves travel, food and her (mildly obese) flat-faced exotic shorthair Khan Solo.