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All Work and No Play Has Made Mumbai the Most Vacation Deprived City in the World

December 06 2018

The most ambitious city is also the most vacation deprived city of the world

When was the last time you took time off from work and went for a vacation? Think hard. According to a survey conducted by Northstar Research Partners on behalf of the online travel agency, Expedia, vacation deprivation is rising rapidly across countries, with 75% Indians topping the chart for being the most vacation deprived, followed by South Korea with 72% and Hong Kong with 69%. The survey was conducted across regions such as North America, Europe, South America and Asia-Pacific, including a total of 19 countries with more than 11,000 adults interviewed about work-life balance.

Moreover, according to the travel portal, Mumbai is concluded to be the most vacation deprived city in the world with 88% of the city’s population confessing that they barely get the opportunity to go on a trip. Incessant working hours and pressure to meet deadlines are treated as the new normal in an uber-city like Mumbai.

What do the statistics say?

The most cited reason for more than half of the working class of the city is lack of time and their busy schedule, whereas 40% encash their leave balance for a particular year, in return for money and hence avoid taking vacations or long leaves. In addition, 24% of them feel that people who are successful at their job either could not or do not take vacations.

It was also revealed that 27% of the respondents have not taken a vacation in the past one year and 44% took leaves for less than 10 days in a year. Shockingly, amongst those who take time off, 92% do so for their mental health, whereas 67% still work while off on a vacation and 25% are glued to check their mails at least once a day while on a vacation.

What’s causing vacation deprivation amongst Indians?

Despite companies promoting work-life balance and an increased number of employers encouraging their employees to take vacations, India has emerged as the most vacation deprived country in the world. The factors to be blamed for this lop-sided development are too much work and insufficient salary along with the feeling of insecurity of being seen as less committed to work, if opting for a vacation.

No wonder that they choose to encash their leaves, meant for relaxation and rejuvenation. Moreover, the sense of guilt attached with going on a vacation could be attributed to the fact that they are perceived as less committed at work if they plan a vacation. India’s young and dynamic population is bearing the brunt of its punishing work culture which can be reflected in the results of this survey.

What could be done to encourage vacations amongst the working population?

Although Mumbai has been termed as the most vacation deprived city in the world, 97% of the city’s working population feel that vacations are essential for overall health and well-being. However, merely promoting work life balance is not going to help the population take their vacations guilt-free.

Effective measures such as lapse of leaves, if not taken, at the end of every year and making it mandatory to avail the allotted leaves for a year could be used to encourage and promote time off work amongst employees.

However, a mental shift also needs to be inculcated amongst employers, peers, supervisors and employees to see vacations as a necessary tool for enhancing productivity and overall well-being of the workforce. People have other priorities as well which they need to deal with separately. It could be family matters, money issues or relationships which need to be given time in order to lead a healthy and happy life.

Vacation helps in rejuvenating and relaxing one’s mind and has innumerable benefits on a person’s overall well-being. Employees should be encouraged to opt for vacations so that they can reset their mental, emotional and physical state and return to work focused, rejuvenated and motivated. While taking a vacation, secure your trip by comparing and choosing from various travel insurance available online. From protecting your baggage to losing your passport, travel insurance can give you cover against a number of unpleasant surprises, especially in a foreign country.

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