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Quiet Vacationing: How employees are taking unapproved breaks without bosses knowing

The survey revealed that the issue isn't with leave policies but with workplace culture and workload pressures. Many employees feel compelled to be constantly available, and fear employer reactions and career implications in a tight economic market.

Quiet Vacationing: How employees are taking unapproved breaks without bosses knowing AJR
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First Published May 30, 2024, 10:30 AM IST

In a shift from Quiet Quitting, a new trend called Quiet Vacationing is gaining popularity, particularly among millennials. According to a survey by The Harris Poll, as many as 37% of Americans admitted to taking time off without informing their bosses.

The survey revealed that the issue isn't with leave policies but with workplace culture and workload pressures. Many employees feel compelled to be constantly available, and fear employer reactions and career implications in a tight economic market. As a result, some employees are secretly taking breaks to maintain their work-life balance.

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What is Quiet Vacationing and why is it becoming popular?

Quiet Vacationing is similar to a workation, where employees pretend to work from home while actually vacationing. The survey indicated that 65% of American workers find balancing work commitments and personal time off challenging. Furthermore, 76% wish their workplace culture stressed the importance of regular breaks and using paid time off.

In environments where requesting time off to recharge is difficult, employees are quietly taking vacations. They travel to holiday destinations while maintaining the appearance of working from home, often adjusting their schedules to fulfill both work and holiday aspirations.

The survey also found that 38% of millennial workers have "moved their mouse" to maintain online status on their company's messaging system, and 37% have scheduled messages to send outside regular hours to create the impression of working extra hours.

While no formal surveys have been conducted in India, many young professionals admit to taking vacations while supposedly working from home.

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Pranjal Tiwari (name changed), a business analyst from Delhi, shares his experience: "Our company gives us over 20 days of earned leave, apart from casual and sick leave. But asking for time off for a holiday often results in excuses from managers. Even if they don't directly say no, their attitude indicates they aren't happy. So, a few colleagues and I have gone to places like Dehradun, Landour, and even Goa while supposedly working from home. It's not like we shirked work; we managed to have a vacation without officially asking for leaves."

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