A recent survey spreading across 19 countries says that Indians feel most vacation-deprived of all the participants. According to Expedia Vacation Deprivation Survey, vacation deprivation itself is on the rise globally. It also adds that 53 per cent of Indians take fewer vacation days than they get and 35 per cent don’t take leave as work schedule does not allow for vacation or there are not enough staff to cover. In total, 75% of Indian participants vouched that they felt vacation-deprived. Also, Indian workers do not take all vacation days and rank fifth when it comes to leaving their vacations unused after Japan, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, according to excerpts of the results published in The Indian Express.
These findings, however, do not come across as a surprise. While Indians may form a big chunk of the world's workforce, the work-culture in the country is less about sustainability and quality and more about wear and tear. We put in long working hours and often bring our work back home. Work is everywhere. It is on our desktops, laptops, tablets and even on mobile phones.
Most Indian working-class men and women today do not know that there is a thing such as being completely cut off from work.
Vacation Deprivation is wearing us out
This vacation deprivation affects us both mentally and physically. Going to work, on an average of six days a week comes tagged not just with stress, it causes exhaustion from the commute and long working hours. People, in fact, feel guilty when using their leave for luxury and not emergencies or sickness. Another factor is that the majority of Indians believe in taking one big vacation every few years or so. Which means the time in between is spent saving up for it. Which eventually means that no mini-breaks to let some steam off. So most office-goers work long stretches without any vacation, just to be able to afford that alternate-year luxury trip.
- 75% of Indian participants vouched that they felt vacation deprived in a survey.
- While Indians may form a big chunk of the world's workforce, the work-culture in the country is less about sustainability and quality and more about wear and tear.
- Knowing the way Indians do their holiday trips, one is uncertain if taking more vacations will do us any good.
- What they need to is that this deprivation is their own doing.
But knowing the way Indians do their holiday trips, I am uncertain if taking more vacations will do us any good. Can’t remember the last time one saw fellow countrymen and women relaxing by the beach soaking the sun. Or enjoying the culture, food and architecture of their holiday destination. All people do is rush from one site to another, with a checklist of must-cover “spots” in their hands and a manic rage in their eyes to complete it. Even our holidays are marred by targets and urgency. No wonder most people come out of vacations even more exhausted than before. Which also is the reason why we do not appreciate vacations.
Our style of holidaying is injurious to health. It doesn’t relax us or give our body and mind a much-needed break. And unless the way we take holidays changes, we will always be vacation deprived.
What Indians understand is that they feel vacation deprived, what they need to, is that this deprivation is their own doing. The office environment in our country is cut-throat, opportunistic and incentivised. It motivates us to work more by promising us luxury and benefits. But more, doesn’t always translate into better quality and productivity. Those leaves that we waste, are given to us for a reason in the first place. One shouldn’t feel guilty about using them just to take a break.
Pic credit: Quicken Loans
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own