January 4, 2019

Will you use all your vacation days this year?

Katherine Packer

Autumn is a notoriously busy time of year for most businesses, with everyone coming down from the high of summer, and focusing in on the few months before the holiday season. But with the changing season and temperatures, it’s tempting to long for far away climes. For many employees around the world, vacation time that goes unused at the end of the year is simply lost, but are workers actually given the flexibility to use all of their time off?

As Statista reported in a recent survey, in many countries, workers reported on how likely it is that they will use up the remainder of their vacation days before the end of the year. A somewhat surprising front runner was Saudi Arabia, with 81% of those surveyed saying that they did, in fact, plan to use up their vacation days, with Germany in a close second at 79%.

At the low end of the chart we have Japan and China coming in at the final two spots, with only 34% and 42%, respectively, reporting that they would be able to use up their vacation days by the deadline. The US, which is notorious for giving very little vacation time to its workers, still only reported that about half of the workers would be able to use up vacation time.

The data provides some interesting insight into the culture around time off and vacation in each country, and makes you wonder, why are the days given if they aren’t meant to be used? As we start to see more and more companies adopting “common sense” holiday time schemes, maybe we’ll begin to see shifts in these numbers in some countries.

Statista: Where workers are most likely to use their vacation days chart
Company culture
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