Hardworking Brits are missing out on holiday – with one in five (18%) not taking their full allowance.
This is according to the ‘2015 Vacation Deprivation’ study from travel website Expedia.co.uk, which tracked the holiday habits of workers around the world. Polling over 9,000 employed adults across 26 countries; the study compared holiday entitlement with the number of days taken, and explored the reasons why discrepancies occurred.
Brits received an average of 25 days holiday in 2015 – falling around the mid point globally (see table one). However, one in five (18%) took less than their given quota. Work worries played a crucial role here, with one in eight (12%) stating that their busy working schedule didn’t allow for time off or that there was nobody available to cover their role.
Shockingly, four per cent of UK workers even admitted that they feared taking all their holiday allowance as they thought it would see them perceived negatively by their employer.
Along with work worries, money concerns also kept us from taking holiday – with 13% of UK respondents noting that they were simply unable to afford a getaway this year. Similarly, nearly one in ten (9%) chose to exchange their unused holiday days for the equivalent in pay, as they needed the money more.
But the positive effects of taking leave may be even more extensive than financial gain. Over half of Brits (51%) stated that their holiday had a positive impact on their love life whilst almost third of (27%) felt more connected to friends and family following some time off work.
Comparatively, the level of happiness Brits associated with being on vacation was shown to top getting a tax refund (15%), finding money that you thought had been misplaced (21%) and being told you look younger than your age (12%).
Even employers saw the benefits of staff taking regular breaks – 93% of workers returned from holiday better rested, 89% were less stressed and 70% felt more focused on their work than when they left.
Such is the draw of extra vacation time, a quarter (26%) of Brits would be motivated to move jobs for more time off, whilst over one and ten (12%) would even take a pay cut in exchange for additional days.
Andy Washington, MD, UK/IE, Brand Expedia, said: “It’s quite shocking to think of the huge amount of holiday days left untaken in the UK this year, either as a result of financial concerns or work related pressures.”
“But as important as it is to work hard, our study shows how holidays also positively impact stress levels, romantic relationships and even our overall level of happiness. So if you get the chance, now’s the time to start thinking about the best way to make the most of your time off in 2016.”
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