Aussies ignoring balance between work and play
Thursday, 9th January, 2014
By Erica Visser
Australians are ignoring annual leave and putting off planned holidays, according to new research.
A new year report by Expedia found that more than half of Australian adults were “holiday deprived” and left an average of a week’s annual leave unused last year.
But when workers did take holidays, two-thirds were unable to switch off and admitted to checking emails and keeping their phone on.
Manager of Broken Hill Jetset Cheryl Cuy said that she encouraged her staff to take up their annual leave.
“Here I try not to let the girls accumulate their holidays and myself, when I go on holidays I do keep my phone on,” she said.
Expedia urged Australians to improve a poor work-life balance in 2014 and Mrs Cuy said that Jetset was offering holiday specials to anybody who needed to get away for a week or two months.
“Sometimes we’ve got people who save up their annual leave over a couple of years and then book a two month European holiday,” Mrs Cuy said.
“But most holidays always centre on the few weeks that people have available.”
Mrs Cuy said that Indonesia was still a hotspot, but there were a few new trends in holiday destinations as well.
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“Bali is still a favourite and so is Thailand, Fiji and most of the smaller islands,” she said.
“Hawaii and America were popular but now not as much because of changes in the dollar.
“Over the last 12 months we’ve seen a lot of people opt for European river cruising; it’s something different rather than sitting on a coach day-by-day and living out of a suitcase.
“You can hang your clothes up and each time you get to a place you spend the day looking around.
“There’s heaps and heaps of specials on at the moment, because the start of the year is the time when most people plan their holidays.”
Whilst getting away was a problem for some, those who work seasonal jobs seem to be exempt.
Winemaker Katherine Hynes had three fixed addresses last year, worked 16 hour days in France and still found time to travel.
Ms Hynes said that the work allowed her to earn money whilst spending chunks of the year on holiday.
“I have the opportunity to follow the grape harvest around the world which allows me to travel and live in various winegrowing regions, tasting some fabulous wine and food whilst being immersed in a new culture,” she said.
“In the latter half of last year I worked the grape harvest in the South of France, which was such a fabulous opportunity.
“Not only did I learn a lot about winemaking, I also got to travel through most of Western Europe.
“It does make it easier to have a work-life balance; you work extremely hard for parts of the year and relax during the remainder.”
Ms Hynes is currently enjoying a few weeks with family in Broken Hill before she begins three-months work in Victoria.
From picking grapes in South France to a Christmas roast dinner in the outback Australian heat, 2013 meant both hard work and leisure for part-time local Katherine Hynes, pictured relaxing yesterday with her Border Collie, Bonnie. PICTURE: Erica Visser