A study shows vacation shaming is a new workplace trend that’s a sign of a much bigger problem.
How many days of vacation do you get at your job? Now answer this question: how many of those days did you actually take last year?
I get three weeks of paid vacation at my job, plus one additional “floating holiday.” Most people take their floating day on their birthday, but since my birthday happens to fall during November sweeps most years, I rarely get that day. (The exception is when my birthday falls either on Thanksgiving Day or the day after, which are holidays, anyway.)
In any case, last year, I took three weeks plus one additional day. I also took two or three additional days, by order of my bosses, who recognized that there were several occasions when I had put in a six-day week because of breaking news. I didn’t ask for those additional days, I might add: I was essentially ordered to take them.
I appreciate that kind of concern from my supervisors. I wish everyone’s supervisors treated their people that way.
For some of us, however, taking a few days off — even days your terms of employment specifically state you are entitled to take can cause a problem: guilt.
I think those of us who work hard and want to see things succeed can easily feel a sense of guilt when we realize that our absence means our co-workers might have a busier day. I don’t feel that way when someone else takes a day off; but I do feel that way when I take a day off.
But a growing number of people say they’re more and more feeling like they’ve been victims of “vacation shaming.” Alamo Rent-A-Car commissioned the 2016 Alamo Family Vacation Survey, which found American workers, especially millennials, feel guilty taking vacation time, the Atlanta Business Journal reported this week.
Alamo found almost 60 percent of millennials claimed to feel a “sense of shame” for taking — or even planning — a vacation, compared to older workers, of whom only 41 percent felt that way.
But in this case, before you feel too bad for those younger workers, they also admitted they’re “significantly more likely” to shame their co-workers.
What goes around…, I suppose.
We’re more driven, more stressed out and more in need of relaxation than we probably have ever been. We shouldn’t have to make any apologies for taking time off that our employers grant us. After all, when our fellow employees take their days off, we have to pick up their slack.
Fair is fair, right?