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Working 9 to 5 – there’s more to life than just making a living!

Carolyn Prendergast - 02/09/05

In a survey* of customers’ quality of life, Wotif.com ( www.wotif.com ), has found that in general people are happy with their work and are maintaining a healthy work/leisure balance by taking frequent getaways.

Off to work we go. Despite the fact that more than 57% of respondents work 40 or more hours each week, over 75% stated they were coping with work or actually enjoying getting up and going to work, and nearly a quarter (24%) are content and would not make any changes to their work.

Getting away from it all!
It appears time out is the key to this contentment, with taking a holiday the most preferred method for relieving or preventing stress at work, and 42% of respondents taking all four weeks of their annual leave every year. Short and frequent is the most popular option for taking leave, with 32% opting to take frequent long weekends and short breaks throughout the year, and 22% taking several one week breaks across the year.

When on leave the majority of respondents (62%) choose to pack their bags and get away from it all! The effect is clear with 56% feeling healthier and balanced after a holiday, and 23% feeling revitalised and fresh – like a new person!

Finding a balance.
According to Dr Iain McCormick, psychologist and head of the Executive Coaching Centre in Auckland, New Zealand, there is an increasing recognition of the importance of work and leisure balance. “This is caused in part by the increasing numbers of people who are working longer hours. A recent government survey suggested that 1 in 10 people in New Zealand are working more than 60 hours per week. This leads to increasing work stress which can spill over into the home unless there is a reasonable balance.”

“This balance can best be achieved by a complete, and preferably continuous, break from work. This allows both body and mind to relax and recharge. Holidays are most useful if they involve a total break that is filled with a mix of utmost relaxation punctuated by periods of vigorous physical exercise. This recharge not only allows people to subsequently spend better quality time with family and friends but also be more productive at work. The latter is increasingly important as more organisations drive for greater output from fewer people.”

Show me the money!
When it comes to changes in the workplace, if there was one change that respondents would make, it would be their salary. According to 44% they are worth more.

Destination anywhere
It appears actual destination is not high on the agenda with the majority of respondents describing their dream destination as ‘anywhere’ as long as it is a holiday. For those that did name a dream destination, popular options included: Europe, tropical islands, North Queensland, Italy, Canada and Hawaii.

Sand, sun and fun
Fun in the sun is the most ideal type of getaway with 30% preferring to hit the beach for some sun, sand and surf, and 42% choosing tropical island bliss - with ocean, palm trees and cocktails.

Walking on sunshine
Opinion differs on the lasting effects of taking a holiday. 41% claim their holiday mood takes them through the first week, while 38% say by the end of the first day, it’s like they never left. Wotif.com New Zealand Manager, Tania Witheford, , commented: “The aim of the Quality of Life survey was to measure the perceived quality of life and social conditions affecting our customers, so that we can continue to look for ways to improve our service and offerings to better meet their needs.

“Since pioneering the online last-minute accommodation market in New Zealand, Wotif.com has become a valued and trusted consumer brand. Our customers use our website not only because we deliver great accommodation deals, but because we also back that with exceptional customer service. We are committed to meeting and surpassing expectations, and to do that, we must keep at the forefront of social trends and conditions so that our website addresses market needs.”

*The Quality of Life survey was conducted by Wotif.com to better understand customers’ work/leisure balance. Wotif.com surveyed over 1000 users asking them about their work life, holiday behaviour and personal life. The online survey was distributed to customers through Wotif.com’s weekly newsletter and data was collected over a two week period.

About Wotif.com
Founded in 2000, Wotif.com (www.wotif.com) is New Zealand’s leading last-minute accommodation website and the global specialist in its field. Its easy-to-use booking engine offers travellers value for money by selling rooms at the last minute at competitive rates. Wotif.com’s portfolio includes over 6000 hotels, motels, serviced apartments, resorts, guesthouses and bed & breakfasts worldwide.

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