July 25, 2015 08:08
The summer holidays have started, but a growing number of workers are making plans to do nothing this summer and stay home.
In one survey of 1,000 adults, 51.7 percent of respondents said traveling is not an essential part of the summer vacation.
One 26-year-old office worker has booked a hotel room in Seoul. He plans to take his laptop loaded with around a dozen movies and watch them in his room. "I just want to be away from the office and my home and watch TV," he said. "I'm spending money to do exactly nothing."
Another office worker in his 30s booked a plane ticket to Jeju but has no plans to tour the sights on the resort island. "I was really busy at work so I want to spend my vacation just kicking back and resting," he said.
A teacher who used to spend her vacations abroad says she now just wants to stay home with her husband. "We flew to Europe last year, but I'm too tired to make travel plans and go sightseeing, let alone adjusting back to my schedule after returning from overseas," she said. "I'm going to sleep in and just relax at home."
The trend has also affected the time when people want to go on holidays. According to job search portal Job Korea, the number of people planning to go on vacation in the peak season of July and August fell around 20 percentage points over the past year to 74.3 percent, while those planning to use their breaks in September instead more than doubled from 7.8 percent last year to 16.4 percent this year.
Experts say the trend reflects the growing fatigue among Korean workers.
Shin Kwang-young, a sociologist at Chungang University, said, "People want to escape from the social norms and labor practices that are pressuring them. It’s typical characteristic of a tired society."
One 29-year-old office worker said, "I'm usually too busy to eat at home with my family so I want to see them more at home during my break."
As of 2013, Koreans worked 2,163 hours a year compared to the OECD average of 1,770 hours. But a study of 400 businesses by the Korea Employers Federation showed the average summer holidays for working Koreans lasted a paltry 4.6 days.
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