A survey from the internet service provider (with a sideline in surveys) Biglobe into paid holidays revealed the sorry state of paid holiday usage in Japan.
As an employee of a company with proactive holiday-taking initiatives, such as three 10-day holidays per year, a recommendation to take two paid holidays per month (with follow-up if you fall too far behind), and a requirement to take a minimum of 80% of our 25 or so holidays (plus publics) each year with a recommendation to take all 100%, it still is difficult to take more than two consecutive days of personal holidays. Conversely, it is ridiculously easy to take a skive or a man-flu day, which I feel is more of a disruption than a planned week holiday.
At my place of work, I feel the main hindrance to taking holidays is little skill or training in delegation of tasks, plus schedules (if they exist) assume 100% attendance; everyone thinks they are far too important to leave their post for more than a day or two.
Q1: Why are holidays impossible/difficult to take (or why don’t you take holidays) at work? (Sample size=1,000 multiple answer)
Work is not the sort of place where one takes holidays
If I take a holiday my co-workers will have to take my tasks on
Co-workers, boss doesn’t take holidays
I cannot control my own workload
Something might arise that I need to respond to
If I take a holiday I have to make it up via overtime later
I’d feel guilty if I did
I just don’t feel sure I have the courage to ask
Too much bother to apply for time off
Cannot get permission from my boss
My evaluation would suffer
Don’t want to take a holiday
By age groups, significant variants were that those in their twenties were more held back by their colleagues and bosses not taking holidays, whereas the fifties were most likely to just not want to take a holiday.
Comparing management level with ordinary employees, managers were most worried about something cropping up while on holiday, whereas ordinary employees were most held back by the office atmosphere discouraging holidays.
Q2: How do you feel when your boss, underlings, co-workers take a holiday? (Sample size=1,000, multiple answer)
If they are taking a holiday, they ought to take more
I want to take one too
Don’t particularly feel anything
They must be slacking
Q3: What causes you to feel annoyed when your boss, underlings, co-workers take a holiday? (Sample size=1,000, multiple answer)
Don’t feel annoyed
Taking holidays during busy period
Taking holidays without delegating pending work
When they get angry due to mistakes by other workers while they are on holiday
When they take far more holidays than me
When they don’t look apologetic
When I see them enjoying themselves on Facebook
Q4: What would you like to see the most regarding paid holidays? (Sample size=1,000)
Company buy-back of holidays
Taking of all paid holidays
Increase number of paid holidays
Q5: Is your employer taking steps to make holidays easier to take? (Sample size=1,000)
Q6: To make holidays easier to take, should the employer’s system change or employee attitude change? (Sample size=1,000)
Employer should change
Employee should change
Q7: Regarding taking a holiday, do you think you should raise the quality of your work? (Sample size=1,000)
Over the 18th and 19th of July 2017 1,000 members of the Biglobe monitor group completed a private smrtphone-based questionnaire. The sex split was 125:125 in each age group of the twenties, thirties, forties and fifties. I would expect that all the respondents were in full-time work, although this was not explicitly stated.
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