Skip to Content

How to 'quiet vacation' without getting in trouble at work

By Weston Blasi

'Quiet vacationing' is popular among millennials. Here's what it is - and how to do it without getting caught.

Forget "quiet quitting" - millennials are now "quiet vacationing."

Harris Poll's 2024 Out of Office Culture Report, which surveyed 1,170 employed adults age 18 and over, reveals that 37% of millennial workers have taken time off from work without informing their manager or employer. This could include signing off early without telling anyone, or spending time working remotely from a vacation spot like a beach, national park or a cabin in the woods without letting your job know where you're working from.

"I've been seeing a lot of people talking about summer plans, but they weren't requesting PTO," or paid time off, Erin McGoff, a career educator with over 5 million followers across social-media platforms, told MarketWatch. "It's going on vacation without formally requesting a PTO. They want to save the PTO."

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 72% of American employees had PTO available to them in 2022, with the average amount ranging from six to 13 days depending on the age of the worker. So it's not too surprising that some workers are trying to squeeze in some extra free time when they can, which can be easier to do in a hybrid or remote work environment.

Echoing similar findings from the poll, McGoff said she recently saw a trend of millennial workers attempting to save their PTO through quiet vacations.

One potential reason that millennials (born between 1981 to 1996, according to Pew Research) are the most likely generation to take quiet vacations: They may be more likely to have big life events that take up vacation time due to the age range they fall within.

"All their friends are getting married and having babies, bachelor and bachelorette parties. A lot of their PTO is getting taken up by cultural life events," McGoff said. "These obligations eat into the official PTO."

"People are using their PTO for these formal events, and then they are trying to squeeze in that extra enjoyable experience for pure enjoyment and no obligation for other people in their life," she added. "You can't be quiet vacationing at a wedding."

See also: These are the most popular flights in the U.S. this summer - and how much they'll cost you

McGoff offered a few tips for people wanting to attempt a quiet vacation without getting in trouble at work.

The first tip is to make sure your work gets done.

You need to be a person who is still "delivering your KPIs," or key performance indicators, McGoff said. And if your job requires you to be active online, make sure to bring your work devices with you to the beach or park or wherever you are, so that you can still check in.

The second tip is to know your manager.

It's important to take a moment and think about who your boss or manager is and, essentially, how brazen you can be with your quiet-vacation behavior. If you think your boss would be bothered that you're working in an atypical location, then camouflage your work area the best you can so that it isn't so obvious.

"If you have a 60-year-old manager who thinks everybody should be back in the office five days a week, maybe don't take the [video] call from the beach. Maybe take it against a blank wall," McGoff noted.

Another option would be to turn off your Zoom (ZM) or Google (GOOGL) (GOOG) meeting camera, if that's possible, so nobody can tell where you are working from.

There are some instances when you could inform your boss about your trip, too.

"If you do have a boss who's maybe your age, or who 'gets' it, or who even does it themselves, I don't think there's any harm in communicating to them" that you're working by the pool or in a coffee shop, McGoff said. "If you're hitting your numbers and your wifi isn't affected, don't think there's any reason not to tell them."

If your manager would be upset with you for not informing them of your trip, then there's one more thing you should make sure to do.

"Don't let your boss follow you on Instagram - make your IG private," McGoff advised. "Don't trust anyone."

And the third key tip to making sure that your quiet vacation is a breeze is to prepare ahead of time.

Getting some extra work done before your trip - perhaps during the weekend prior or sometime after hours - could lighten the load of your work day during the quiet vacation you're planning.

"Hack the system, get ahead of things. Figure out what you need to do and what meetings [and] calls you need to be ready for," McGoff said. "I would try to get ahead of it as much as you can so you can enjoy your quiet vacation."

Of course, there are many other things to consider. For example, make sure your wifi is stable, and know whether or not your company deals with sensitive information that could pose a security risk if your internet connection is off your normal work wifi or VPN.

"You don't want to rock the boat," McGoff noted. "Say you try to get away with this and you miss a meeting or a deadline - you are not going to get away with doing this again."

Read on: 'Are they cheap?' I'm taking a trip with two friends for Memorial Day. I'm spending $90 on gas, and neither offered to chip in. What should I do?

-Weston Blasi

This content was created by MarketWatch, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. MarketWatch is published independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-25-24 0800ET

Copyright (c) 2024 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Market Updates

Sponsor Center