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Quiet Vacationing: The Workplace Trend to Watch This Summer

Quiet Vacationing: The Workplace Trend to Watch This Summer

In this article, you’ll learn about the latest trend emerging in western workplaces, “Quiet Vacationing” and understand how to do it the right way. 

Earlier this year we’ve covered quiet quitting, which was making rounds in the workspace with the rise of “lazy girl jobs” back at the time. Today, a new “quiet” term has entered the corporate world – quiet vacationing. In its essence, it describes so-called “hush trips,” the secret vacations workers take without using their PTO (paid time off).

In today’s article, we’re going to take a closer look at this practice and try to understand if and how it can be done properly.

The Emergence of Quiet Vacationing

According to a Resume Builder report, about 1 in 10 workers participated in quiet vacationing in the past year, and 1 in 8 employees among over 1,000 corporate workers surveyed intend to engage in quiet vacationing this summer.

And even though, according to the report, many workers either definitely (68%) or probably (24%) believe their manager would support them taking time off, not all workers use PTO for their time off. Only a little over one-third of workers “always” use their allotted PTO; about 1 in 5 “sometimes” use their PTO, with 6% rarely and 2% never using PTO. 

Moreover, according to Harris Poll’s Out of Office Culture Report, out of 1,170 employed US adults surveyed, 37% of millennial workers said they took time off without informing their bosses about it.

This trend wasn’t borne out of some kind of defiance, though. Many employees worry that taking official time off might affect their job security, indicating in some way that they are not as committed to their roles as they could be. Among other reasons, the prevalence of “vacation guilt,” the fear of leaving colleagues “shouldering” one’s responsibilities, and worry regarding missed opportunities in one’s absence can be mentioned as well.

Quiet Vacationing in the Modern Workplace

This emerging trend of quiet vacationing, while allowing employees to have a more smooth work-life balance, raises some ethical dilemmas, seeing how ultimately it is centered around withholding information. 

There is no single definitive answer whether it is important to notify where one is working from provided they’re meeting their objectives and completing projects on time. The truth is that this trend, particularly noticeable in the younger generation of the workforce, is definitely on the rise, especially during summer, which is known to be the season of holidaying. 

Quiet vacationing is met with mixed reactions. On the one hand, when it’s viewed from a positive side, the growing emphasis on prioritizing employee well-being is highlighted. To maintain a healthy work-life balance, it is crucial for specialists to spend time on oneself. Quiet vacationing can look especially appealing to those professionals who feel burned out or undervalued in their teams. It provides them with the time to quietly recharge and return to the workspace with more focus and productivity.

On the other hand, however, if we’re looking at this practice from a management and organizational viewpoint, it raises issues of productivity and transparency, with employers being legitimately concerned regarding the implications for the overall efficiency of the company. In such cases, an employee’s failure to communicate their vacation time poses the risk of undermining trust with the employer, leading to specialists facing disciplinary action, such as getting fired.

Given the difficulty many employers already have with trusting remote employees to be productive outside the office, they are not particularly keen on the idea of their employees pretending to have their head in the game while, for example, contemplating the beauty of the ocean in front of their eyes.

Here’s our piece of advice for those employees who may feel uncomfortable asking their senior managers for vacation days directly: consider first having a conversation with them about your workload and stress levels. If you have an open and trusting relationship with your superior, you might be better off just being upfront about your vacation plans. Let them know how you feel and ask about getting some time off to detox from work and practice self-care so that you can come back refreshed and motivated. After all, summertime tends to be a rather slow period for many businesses, so it could be likely that you would be granted said time off with no trouble.

If a change of scenery is what you need, you could also explore options of working remotely while traveling. In the current job market, you want to avoid getting terminated and having to explain why you got fired during every future job interview, and your breach of trust will not reflect favorably on your candidacy.

What’s more, before resorting to the option of quiet vacationing, answer this question honestly for yourself – can you realistically be completely off the grid and unreachable while away? After all, if you have critical deadlines or looming projects, quiet vacationing may not be the best idea at that particular moment. 

Proactive Steps for Employees to Take Before Quiet Vacationing

To address the challenges of quiet vacationing, we also advise employees to take the following proactive steps:

  • Discussing workload and stress levels. As we’ve mentioned earlier, employees should have open conversations with their managers regarding their stress levels and workload allocation. Discussing such topics helps set realistic expectations and reach mutually agreeable solutions.
  • Understanding PTO policies. Employees should also familiarize themselves with their company’s paid time off policies. Knowing the legal basis of the topic ensures that employees know their entitlements and can plan their leave in accordance with them.
  • Prioritizing important dates. Being aware when important projects and tasks are scheduled can help employees avoid taking time off during critical periods at work. This awareness will help minimize disruptions to the workflow of the entire team.
  • Negotiating remote work options. The employees who might feel the need for the flexibility working remotely provides could consider discussing and properly formalizing such arrangements with their employers.

Tips for Quiet Vacationing the Right Way

  • Plan your workload in advance. Make sure all your tasks are completed or properly delegated prior to resorting to quiet vacationing. Ensure your responsibilities are covered so you don’t return to an overwhelming pile of tasks looming over your head.
  • Use the option of remote work (if possible). If your job allows you to work remotely, take advantage of it by choosing locations where you can maintain productivity.
  • Stay accessible for critical tasks. Make sure you have access to important work communications in case some work-related emergency arises so that you can maintain professional integrity. Avoid resorting to quiet vacationing when important project deadlines are approaching.
  • Set boundaries and relax. Clearly define your working and resting hours and stick to them – even during quiet vacationing. Use this time to de-stress and recharge your batteries. Prioritize activities that help you relax.

Using Kickidler to Gain Visibility into Quiet Vacationing

With the help of well-chosen and properly configured employee monitoring software, employers can gain the ability to better understand their teams, manage their productivity and overall improve workflow within the company.

Here are just a few things that our Kickidler software can do for your business: 

  • Offer a comprehensive picture of the employees’ workday, with visual representation of employees’ actual performance, thanks to the real-time monitoring feature;
  • Evaluate employees’ engagement through comprehensive reporting options on both worktime and productivity;
  • Provide productivity insights of exactly how productive employees are with their worktime. Powerful productivity analytics highlight areas where employees excel or need improvement;
  • Reduce employee burnout with workload management in Kickidler Project Tracking suite that allows managers to keep track of who’s working on what tasks and how much time it takes them, maximizing accountability and transparency within the team. 

Kickidler Project Tracking

Alicia Rubens

As a tech enthusiast and senior writer at Kickidler, I specialize in creating insightful content that helps businesses optimize their workforce management.

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