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Booking.com research reveals 2.4 million Aussies fail to take leave for over a year

June 8, 2018 OTA News No Comments Email Email

As winter begins and the temperature starts to drop, global travel leader Booking.com sheds light on a shocking nationwide trend that sees the equivalent of 2.4 million full time working Australians have gone without taking leave for more than a year, with 86% experiencing burnout as a result of not taking enough leave To start redressing this balance, Aussies are encouraged to make Friday 15 June 2018 ‘Book A Holiday Day’, coinciding with mid-month pay week for many Australians, by dedicating time to researching and booking a holiday or short getaway to benefit their health and wellbeing.

Booking.com’s new research surveying 1000 working Aussies on their annual leave habits and motivations exposes Australia as a nation of workaholics, with only 31% of workers using all of their annual leave days each year. Encouragingly, those who have children are more likely to use their annual leave showing that the family dynamic is driving holidays as they take breaks for key periods. However, over half have said more leave days would give them greater flexibility to spend more time with their kids.

Breaking it down by state, data shows that South Australians are the nation’s biggest workaholics with only 19% using all of their annual leave and over a third going without leave for 7-12 months. Queenslanders (25%) and Western Australians (30%) are also guilty of not taking leave for the longest period of 1-2 years.

On the other hand, New South Wales and Victoria are the most likely to take a well-earned break with 36% and 34% respectively stating they always use their annual leave allocation. Across the generations, Baby Boomers have had longer breaks without annual leave for up to two years on average, which is double the longest time Gen X and Millennials are willing to wait for a break.

The survey also uncovered a strong need for Australian workers to take advantage of their leave and take a break for their health. With the majority of workers experiencing burnout as a result of not taking enough holidays, three in ten workers admit to leaving work early due to exhaustion, while an equivalent of almost 1 million workers admitting to falling asleep at work.

Consequences of experiencing burnout from not taking enough annual leave
Loss of concentration
51%
Worked more slowly than usual
43%
Taking one or more sick days
38%
Eating unhealthily (junk/sugary foods)
36%
Consuming too much caffeine in order to stay focused
33%

Andi Lew, wellness coach and ambassador of Booking.com’s Book a Holiday campaign, experienced this burnout first hand last year when she had a minor health scare. Her doctor advised that he was very concerned about her cortisol levels due to stress and told her to take a holiday.

Lew said: “As a wellness coach I see so many people who are burnt out from their hectic schedules where they never take the time to switch off and this can lead to various health issues, both mental and physical. In fact, last year I was getting really run down at work, to the point where my doctor prescribed me a holiday and it was the best medical advice I have ever received. Ever since then I’ve made a conscious decision to regularly take a break and go on holidays to ensure my mind and body is well rested.”

Aussie workers are demanding more leave from their bosses, declaring they don’t have enough paid annual leave days. Key reasons for this desire include: wanting to feel refreshed and working more effectively (56%); having enough time to de-stress from work and look after their health (55%); and to have more time to travel (54%).

Luke Wilson, Booking.com spokesperson for Australia said: “There are countless benefits of travel to simply take time off to explore, be inspired or unplug, whether for two weeks or two days, switching off and taking care of your health and wellbeing is a number one priority. At Booking.com, we’re committed to meeting everyone’s travel needs at any time or any place to be a one-stop travel destination for people to embrace meaningful and restorative travel time.”

Aussies can research and book their next getaway on Book a Holiday Day 15 June, 2018 here: www.booking.com/bookaholidayday

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