Stop the ‘vacation shaming’

by NZ Adviser16 Dec 2016
There’s a common misconception that millennials are lazy and have a misplaced sense of entitlement, but recent research showed that they are spending more time in the office than any other generation, earning them the moniker of ‘work martyrs’.

In addition to this, millennials are also more likely to forfeit their vacation days than any other generation out of guilt and for fear of losing their jobs, reported author and counsellor Rachel Ritlop at Forbes.

“Alamo Rent A Car’s annual family vacation survey found that many millennials report feeling guilty if they utilize their vacation time,” she said.

“That same survey found that millennials are almost twice as likely to shame one another for taking vacation time compared to older generations.”  

She said that taking a much needed vacation has many benefits, not least of which is beating burnout and for the “most stressed generation, it’s more important than ever that they beat vacation shame and use those days off work”.

Ritlop especially recommends taking the time off to travel for its multitude of benefits such as “learning different life lessons, increased cultural awareness, and knowledge”. 

Benefits they can eventually apply in the workplace and make them better workers, she said.

Three ways to not feel guilty
In order to help ease the guilt of taking the time off, a career coach said there are three behaviours employers can encourage that would not only lessen the guilt but would also help the employees left in the office:

1)    Communicate with co-workers;
2)    Prioritise the work;
3)    Set reasonable goals

“Communicate what projects are on the table right now and what needs to be done.  Don’t wait until you are about to walk out the door to loop people in,” said Alissa Carpenter, career discovery and personal development coach at Everything’s Not Ok and That’s Ok life coaching company.

Encourage them to prioritise projects based on what needs to be done by year’s end and what can be tackled when they return from their break.

“Does the project or task you are working on have to be done right before the holidays or can it wait? Assess the needs of the tasks on you and your co-workers plates before adding something else on,” she said.

Set two simple goals for the last month of the year instead of planning a large off-site company meeting, added career adviser Kaytie Zimmerman, keeping in mind that many employees usually take this period to take advantage of outstanding vacation time.

This article is from HRD Singapore by Lauren Acurantes. 

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