Millennial Workers Feel Guilt for Taking Vacation

Photo via Atomic Taco/Flickr.
Photo via Atomic Taco/Flickr.

More employed millennials (59%) reported feeling a sense of shame for taking or planning a vacation compared to workers aged 35 or older (41%), according to Alamo Rent A Car’s 2016 Alamo Family Vacation Survey.

Employed millennials are also more likely than older generations to say they shame their co-workers about taking vacation (42% versus 24%). Plus, millennials who have shamed their co-workers were significantly more likely than older generations to say they’re at least somewhat serious (42% versus 22%).

While millennials were most likely to feel guilty about taking time off, Alamo’s research indicates that vacation shaming is affecting all generations. Nearly half (47%) 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. And two-fifths (42%) of those think their co-workers are seriously shaming them – not just joking.

Nearly half (47%) said they’ve felt the need to justify to their employer why they’re using their vacation days, according to the report.

“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, Alamo Rent A Car’s vice president of brand marketing. “In addition, our survey shows employees continue to leave a large percentage of paid vacation days on the table.”

Compared to the 2015 Alamo Family Vacation Survey, the 2016 survey showed a larger proportion of adults received paid vacation as part of their job benefits (56% versus 52%, respectively). However, 41% of respondents who received paid vacation are still leaving some of these days on the table:

• Of those who reported having unused paid vacation days, 40% said they left five or more vacation days unused in 2015.

• The top two reasons people gave for not using all of their paid vacation were a desire to roll over their days to take a longer vacation the following year and the fact that they are simply too busy at work to take time off.

The 2016 Alamo Family Vacation Survey was conducted from Jan. 5 to 15, with 1,500 adults from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey was fielded using the Research Now online consumer panel.

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