Why quiet vacationing raises questions about PTO and the generational divide

why quiet vacationing raises questions about pto and the generational divide

Why quiet vacationing raises questions about PTO and the generational divide

The lines between work and time off are blurring with the latest workplace and TikTok trend — "quiet vacationing."

Why it matters: Americans aren't taking all of their PTO and now some are going to extremes to hide their getaways while they work.

  • It's like quiet quitting — the young workers' rebellion against the "rise and grind" ethos — but with blurred Zoom and Teams backgrounds.

The big picture: Quiet vacationing has existed for years but with different names. It has been called the hush trip, hush vacation and even the workcation.

  • The Harris Poll coined the term "quiet vacationing" in a recent survey about out-of-office culture, which found that 4 in 10 people were taking time off without telling their bosses.
  • "It's kind of like a canary-type of syndrome, where it's a symptom of a deeper issue in the workplace where employees feel like they cannot openly take the breaks that they need without repercussions," said Libby Rodney, the chief strategy officer at the market research company.

State of play: A new Harris Poll survey, released Tuesday, found that 48% of American workers admitted to quiet vacationing around the July 4 in the past.

  • 61% of Gen Z and Millennial workers said employers should shut down for the entire week around the summer holiday.
  • "It's like there's a value shift happening around how American workers look at vacation and weeks of vacation," Rodney told Axios, noting a generational divide on who has taken secret trips.

Zoom in: The prevalence of quiet vacations and "hush" trips is tied to the rise of remote work, Stacie Haller, chief career advisor at Resume Builder, told Axios.

  • "With the shift to virtual meetings and the access to work-related emails and documents from any location, employees find it increasingly easy to blend their professional responsibilities with leisure time," Haller said.

Yes, but: Quiet vacation days aren't free from work with many answering emails and attending meetings to "maintain the facade of being present in the office," Haller said.

What they're saying: Veetahl Eilat-Raichel, CEO and co-founder of PTO platform Sorbet, is skeptical about the new trend.

  • "There's overwhelming research and evidence to show that actually taking time off makes you more productive, increases your performance, reduces your stress, it's better for your well being and it makes you a better employee," Eilat-Raichel told Axios.
  • "We all have collectively a very messed up relationship with the idea of going on vacation and it's a deeply, deeply rooted cultural problem in American corporate culture," she said.

What's next: Michael Wolf, CEO of ResortPass, an app for booking "daycations" at luxury hotels, told Axios that the quiet vacationing trend could lead to people taking days off with greater frequency.

  • "It will become normalized to work from poolside, rather than hiding it," Wolf said.

More from Axios:

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