Sunday, July 24, 2011

Koreans afraid of taking long holiday

I just wanna share another article I found this morning. It has something to do with the working culture of Korean people compared to other countries. I already expected this kind of article since I personally know some Korean friends who share the same sentiments.

According to the article, most Korean workers are notoriously known  as workaholics by international norms, but they are still afraid of asking their bosses for long leave.

The article says that in the 2008 statistics, Koreans work the longest hours and take the fewest holidays among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The
average Korean works 2,256 hours a year, the longest among the 34 OECD members and far more than the OECD average of 1,764 hours.

Many people can’t take a long vacation and many others are simply not used to a long holiday.

One Korean said he feels uneasy and worried about work that he hasn't finished and he feels obliged to show that he is a hard worker who doesn't go on a long vacation

The lack of long holidays is more often seen in low-ranked workers who find it more difficult to take annual leave than managers and other senior-level employees.

One person said that he prefers working to a long vacation because he's expecting extra pay for the unused holidays.

Another person also said that he wants to take a long vacation with his family, but it costs money and he personally doesn't know what to do.

The article also presented the findings of a recent survey by online survey firm Embrain. Findings also shows most workers in Korea have difficulty in taking a long vacation.

Conducted on 1,000 workers, the survey revealed that about 88 percent of respondents said they feel the lack of a “break” while only 12 percent said they rest enough. About 68 percent said it wasn't easy for them to take a long break from work.

As the main reason, about 35 percent said they feel guilty about taking a long holiday because of their peers. Some 29 percent said they were worried about extra work when they return, 20 percent said they simply can’t because their bosses do not take long holidays, and 16 percent said they were worried a long vacation would have a bad influence on their work performance evaluation.

Although the survey shows most workers want to take a long break, ironically more than half of them prefer financial compensation to holidays. About 55 percent of respondents said they would be willing to choose to sacrifice a 15 day vacation and instead work if they were given an extra 2 million won.

For the whole article please check the link I attached below.

What do you think? Would you rather work than take a long holiday?

By Kim Tae-jong (

Photos taken from courtesy of AFP

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