Millennials: Why Can’t We Take a Vacation?
In my experience, most Millennials like to work hard and thus, play hard. The benefits of taking a vacation are pretty well-known: increased health, better morale, and helps stop burnout. However, according to a recent study released by Project: Time Off, it seems that millennials, as employees, still struggle with taking that vacation and disconnecting from work. What gives?
When the beautiful weather of summer approaches, it’s clear that people want to get out of the office. It’s highly unlikely, however, that you have used up (or requested off) all of your allowed vacation time. A survey by Glassdoor reports that the average U.S. employee with vacation time (or paid time off) has only used about HALF of their earned time off! Half!? Is this you? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Maybe you’re one of the few who has used your days off, but did you completely unplug? Most likely not. Whether you feel pushed by your management to “be available” or if you “just want to check a few emails,” Americans, specifically millennials, are not completely unplugging from work.
Employees give multiple reasons as to why they don’t use all of their vacation time. Some of those reasons include:
- No one else to cover the workload.
- Don’t want to come back to huge workload.
- Feeling guilty about taking time off.
- Wanting to appear dedicated to the job.
- Company culture doesn’t “approve” or speak positively of taking time off.
Despite these reasons, the Project: Time Off study reveals that while Americans are using more vacation time, they are also leaving a few more days unused than in years past. If you’ve earned the time, it’s in your best interest to use the vacation time, no matter the initial guilt you might feel for taking time off.
If you’re planning to take some time off soon, here are some tips to fully disconnect and enjoy.
- Ask your boss about time off immediately. The sooner it’s approved and on the calendar, the sooner you can make arrangements for coverage at work.
- Delegate the work as necessary. Work with your boss to figure out if anyone can or needs to handle your responsibilities while you’re away.
- Use an “Out of Office Reply” and make sure people who need you can connect to someone else if they need help.
- Be proactive and tell the appropriate co-workers that you will be gone and completely unreachable during the specified dates.
- Tie up every loose end that you can think of. That means finish any projects, get the emails answered, and clean up your workstation. The more things that you take care of before you leave will leave you less to deal with upon your return.
- Turn off email updates on your phone and other devices you may be taking on vacation. If you don’t see the notifications, you’ll be less likely to “check in” on your work duties.
- Consider using the inside vs. outside rule – If you’re inside the hotel, using technology is fine, but once you’re outside the technology gets ignored. This allows you to keep up on the happenings in the world, but still get the most time disconnected from your responsibilities.
If you’ve earned the time off, it’s good for you and your employer for you to relax and unwind outside of the workplace. If you’ve needed a reminder to take a vacation, consider this blog post your reminder! Get out there and schedule some time off!
Are you planning a vacation this summer? How do you plan for time off work? Do you have issues with completely disconnecting from work?