SEOUL, Dec. 21 (Korea Bizwire) – With the end of the year fast approaching, consumer research has shed light on the predispositions of South Koreans towards taking time off work and seasonal activities like gift-giving.
From December 7 to 13, online shopping mall Gmarket conducted a survey asking 342 users about their plans for gift-giving at the year’s end, to which 87 percent responded that “they would prepare gifts”.
Interestingly, the gender of the user revealed slight differences in who the gifts were destined for, with 35 percent of male users saying the recipients would be their parents, and 22 percent naming their significant other/spouse.
In contrast, parents were further down the list for female users, and children/relatives was the most commonly given answer with 24 percent of all responses. In order from most to least, the answers were “myself” (21 percent), parents (20 percent), significant other/spouse (20 percent) and friends/acquaintances (10 percent).
Children/relatives and “myself” were stated by 18 percent and 8 percent of male users, respectively.
The best gift of all may be taking time off from work; South Koreans took ten paid vacation days this year, two more than the world low of eight last year.
Expedia disclosed the results of its questionnaire of 302 South Koreans, which was part of a larger global survey with 15,081 individuals from 30 countries, and found that the number of paid vacations used was on par with Japan and Taiwan. South Korea, Japan and Taiwan allot 15, 20 and 14 days, respectively.
The proportion of South Koreans who exhausted their leave days rose from 39 percent last year to 51 percent this year, but this figure still pales in comparison to the global average of 66 percent.
Of the respondents, 34 percent said that they were unable to use their paid vacation days because of a “lack of someone to fill-in or too much work”.
In contrast, the most commonly given answer by Australians and Finns as to why they didn’t spend all their vacation days was “to save the days for a longer vacation the following year”.
Completing the gloomy picture, 61 percent of South Korean respondents revealed that they work during vacation days – the highest percentage among all nationalities surveyed, and 72 percent stated they are reminded of work while on break and feel uncomfortable. In addition, 61 percent said they felt guilty when going on vacation. Unsurprisingly, a mere 30 percent replied that they are able to return to work after vacation feeling refreshed.