Mar 08

New Workplace Trend: Vacation Shaming—Millennials Are Most Likely to Feel Guilty for Taking Time Off Work, Study Finds | Bulldog Reporter


Vacation shaming—being made to feel a sense of shame or guilt from co-workers for taking a vacation—has become prevalent in the American workplace, especially among Millennials, according to new research from Alamo Rent A Car. Findings from the 2016 Alamo Family Vacation Survey show more employed Millennials (59 percent) reported feeling a sense of shame for taking or planning a vacation compared to those 35 or older (41 percent).

Oddly enough, employed Millennials aren’t just more likely to feel vacation-shamed—they’re significantly more likely than older generations to say they also shame their co-workers (42 percent vs. 24 percent). Plus, Millennials who have ever shamed their co-workers were significantly more likely than older generations to say they’re at least somewhat serious (42 percent vs. 22 percent).

While Millennials were most likely to feel guilty about taking time off, the research indicates that vacation shaming is affecting all generations. Nearly half (47 percent) of all workers surveyed said they felt a sense of shame or guilt at their workplace for taking time off to go on a vacation. What’s more, more than two fifths (42 percent) of those think their co-workers are seriously shaming them—not just joking. And nearly half (47 percent) said they’ve felt the need to justify to their employer why they’re using their vacation days.

Twenty-two percent of those employed individuals surveyed reported that feeling shame was at least somewhat likely to keep them from going on or planning a vacation. “This year’s research indicates that vacation shaming is a real workplace issue that can, in some cases, discourage hard-working Americans from taking well-deserved time off with their families,” said Rob Connors, vice president of brand marketing for Alamo Rent A Car, in a news release. “In addition, our survey shows employees continue to leave a large percentage of paid vacation days on the table.”

“It’s long past time to stop wearing unused vacation days as a badge of honor,” said Gary Oster, managing director of Project: Time Off, an initiative to win back America’s Lost Week of vacation. “By forgoing vacation days, Americans are missing out on stronger bonds with family and friends, greater fulfillment and productivity in their work lives and enhanced health and wellness as a result of time away from the office.”

Women vs. Men:
Both the 2015 and 2016 versions of the survey showed women were more likely than men to use all of their paid vacation days (63 percent vs. 54 percent in 2015; 63 percent vs. 52 percent in 2016).

  • Additionally, when it comes to family vacations, women are more decisive than men regarding:
    • What to pack/bring (49 percent of women said they never avoid making these decisions vs. 28 percent of men);
    • Places/attractions to see or visit (40 percent vs. 26 percent);
    • Where to go on vacation (43 percent vs. 34 percent);
    • Where to eat and what to cook (35 percent vs. 24 percent).
  • In both the 2015 and 2016 surveys, women were significantly more likely than men to say packing for the trip stresses them out the most the week before going on vacation (30 percent vs. 16 percent in 2015; 31 percent vs. 19 percent in 2016).

The 2016 Alamo Family Vacation Survey was conducted from Jan. 5-15, 2016, with 1,500 adults from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey was fielded using the Research Now online consumer panel. At the time of the survey, participants had to have been at least 18 years of age or older, be married, have a domestic partnership or have a child under the age of 22, and taken one or more trips with their immediate family and/or their extended family in the past five years. Age data is reflective to the adult population based on U.S. Census data. Millennials are defined as 18 to 34 year olds.

Source: New Workplace Trend: Vacation Shaming—Millennials Are Most Likely to Feel Guilty for Taking Time Off Work, Study Finds | Bulldog Reporter

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