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quiet vacationing is the new quiet quitting

business work from home

Have you heard of “quiet vacationing”? Well, you probably heard of the phenomenon of quiet quitting. But in this case, the employee takes a vacation “quietly” if they are able to work remotely.

The Harris Poll found in a new survey that 78% of all American users reported they do not use all of their paid vacation days. The rate is even higher among the younger generations like Millennials. However, Millennials and Gen Z – Zoomers – engage in quiet vacationing at a rate of 40%.

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Quiet vacationing refers to taking a vacation while still technically being connected to work. This means you might be checking emails, attending meetings remotely, or working on tasks during your downtime.

In some workplaces, there’s a competitive culture where employees worry about being seen as replaceable if they take time off and some people – workaholics – find it difficult to disconnect from work. These are just some of the people who would choose the quiet vacation route.

In addition, in some cases, employees may feel overloaded with work and unable to take a true vacation without checking in occasionally.

Libby Rodney, chief strategy officer at The Harris Poll, told CNBC about Millennials and Zoomers engaging in Quiet Vacationing, “There’s a giant workaround culture at play.”

“They will figure out how to get appropriate work-life balance, but it’s happening behind the scenes,” Rodney added. “It’s not exactly quiet quitting, but more like quiet vacationing.”

The report is based on a custom survey that was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll between April 26th to 28th, among 1,170 employed adults aged 18 and over. This research comprises 166 Gen Z (ages 18-27), 486 Millennials (ages 28-43), 365 Gen X (ages 44-59), and 153 Boomers (ages 60 and older). The survey also includes 259 remote employees (who work 100% from home), 324 hybrid employees (work a mixture of in the office and at home), and 587 in-person employees (work 100% from the office).

Some respondents explained their behavior. Of those surveyed, 76% of workers said “I wish my workplace culture placed a stronger emphasis on the value of taking regular breaks and utilizing paid time off.” In addition, says Harris, the anxiety-ridden culture around the request is prevalent, as half (49%) get nervous when requesting time off from their employer.

The Harris Poll also found that policies on vacation time are not the issue behind quiet quitting. Harris reported the majority of Americans (83%) are satisfied with their company’s paid time off / vacation policy; 60% are given more than 10 paid days off per year, an additional 7% have an “unlimited vacation policy.” A third of American workers indicate “unlimited vacation policy” means more than 30 days off.

However, most (78%) do not use the maximum amount of paid time off allowed by their employer. In fact, the average American worker took 15 paid days off last year, despite half (49%) being allowed more than that by their employer. The top barriers preventing workers from taking more time off are” pressure to always be available and responsive to demands” (31%) and “heavy workload” (30%).

Unfortunately, the cat is now out of the bag. So think twice before engaging in quiet vacationing.

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