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Gen Z and Millennials’ Approach to Taking Time Off 

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Gen Z and Millennials’ Approach to Taking Time Off 
Source: Pinterest

Gen Z and Millennials’ Approach to Taking Time Off 

Source: Pinterest

Gen Z and millennial workers make up most of a company’s younger staff. Over the years, managers in companies have noticed a surprising trend in the way they take time off work. 

Gen Z and Millennials

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Gen Z is the generation born between 1997 and 2012. As of 2024, their age range is between 12 and 27. Millennials are born between 1981 and 1996 and are 28 to 43 years old as of 2024. 

These younger workers are usually under a lot of pressure at the workplace and, therefore, find it hard to take their much-needed time off. 

The Concept of Quiet Vacationing

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Libby Rodney of The Harris Poll noted that millennials and Gen Z workers are usually quite stressed since they don’t like to request paid time off (PTO).

However, they have found a way around it. This practice is called “quiet vacationing,” and nearly four in 10 millennials do it. They take time off without notifying their managers to enjoy some free time from work. 

The Strategy

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The stealthy strategy is simple. The millennials keep up appearances online by moving their mouse to show that they are carrying out activities on the company’s messaging platforms, such as Microsoft Teams or Slack.

However, this strategy, while resourceful, can have unintended consequences. Millennials also schedule messages to send after work hours, creating the illusion of overtime. This can potentially erode workplace trust, as it may be perceived as a lack of transparency

The Workaround Culture Among Millennials

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According to Rodney, the workaround culture is a giant scheme. She says millennials use it to find a much-needed work-life balance when things are rough. However, Gen Zers are quite different. 

Unlike millennials, they are quick to complain when they get overwhelmed and will most certainly take breaks when they need them. While millennials would rather do things discreetly, Gen Zers would rather be vocal about it. 

ALSO READ: Millennial Who Quit His Job for College Declares Degree Is “Worthless”

Unlimited PTO Is Not Usually Utilized

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Unlimited paid time off seems like the perfect solution for millennials, but it is not usually effective. According to Rodney, workers with 11 to 15 days of PTO tend to use it more than those who have 16 or more days.

Therefore, this shows that people with fewer paid days off are more likely to take their time off seriously and use it more effectively. 

New Policies as Solutions 

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There are a couple of solutions to this problem. Companies can implement several policies, such as mandatory breaks during major holidays or for each employee every quarter of the year.

They can also do this by paying new hires to take vacations before they start their work. This way, the employees have no choice but to take their PTO seriously. 

Management’s Role

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Another way to promote employees taking PTO is to reduce the tension around it. Most people are afraid to ask their managers for their leave because they are scared of the backlash they might get.

However, if employees take time off themselves and also support their staff in doing the same, there would be a healthier environment where it is safe to ask for their PTO.

POLL—Should Public Schools Include Critical Race Theory and Sex Education in Their Curriculum?

The European Work Culture

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The European work culture has been proven to be more efficient than that of the United States of America.

This is because they include better offers such as longer lunch breaks, extended vacation days, reduced workweeks, and allowance of slower response times when it’s beyond work hours. These improve the employee’s satisfaction, work-life balance, and general productivity.

Reduced Productivity

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When employees are scared to take their much-deserved PTO, it can lead to burnout and reduced productivity.

Therefore, a work environment that promotes the use of their time off is more likely to see an improvement in employee performance and well-being. As the employees are less stressed, the work environment will be much better, healthier, and more productive.

ALSO READ: Why Employers Say Gen Zs Are Toxic for the Workplace

Technology Aids Quiet Vacationing

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The quiet vacationing culture is quite easy to adopt, especially for those who work mainly online.

Their work tools, such as Microsoft Teams and Slack, allow them to appear online and active even when they are not really doing anything. Therefore, it is easy for employees to use this to their advantage, but this could be avoided with better work policies. 

Creating Safe Spaces

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Employers are also encouraged to create environments where workers can feel comfortable asking for their PTO when they need it.

Creating safe spaces for open conversations about work-life balance in the workplace will lead to a more productive and healthier work style. Employers should also make sure to support conversations around PTO at all times to help their employees. 

Work-Life Balance Is Essential

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Gen Zers usually have a great work-life balance. However, millennials are still struggling for many reasons. Therefore, it is important for employers to keep the workplace evolving as times change.

This helps not only the millennials but all staff and increases the productivity of the company as a whole. A happy staff is equal to a more progressive workplace, and this has been proven several times. 

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