The Quick Report

First, Gen-Z Started ‘Quiet Quitting’ — Now They’re Taking It Even Further

Move over quiet quitting; there’s a new game in town. Quiet vacationing is the latest trend among Gen Z workers and millennials. It is a way of secretly taking time off rather than asking their boss for PTO, which goes unused. Over one-third of young workers are ‘quiet vacationing.’ Let’s take a deeper look into why this is happening.

We’ll even give you some tips on how to successfully take your own quiet vacation. But you wouldn’t actually do that, right?

What is “quiet vacationing?”

“Quiet vacationing” is a way of taking some vacation time without formally requesting paid time off (PTO). 

Remote workers are the ones mostly taking “quiet vacations.” They might be working remotely from a vacation spot such as the beach, a cabin in the woods, or a National Park. They also may be keeping themselves signed in to company platforms without telling anyone while doing something else.

Workers may use their PTO for events like weddings and bachelor and bachelorette parties. These require time off that eats into personal vacation time. Workers want to save their PTO for “real vacationing,” where they can find relaxation.

Why are so many young workers taking quiet vacations?

Americans are notoriously bad at taking time off work in general. A whopping 78% of U.S. workers say they don’t take all their PTO days, according to a new Harris Poll survey of 1,170 American workers. The majority of these workers are millennials and Gen Z. Nearly 4 in 10, 37% of Millennials are “quiet vacationing” rather than using their PTO days.

Why aren’t workers taking and using the paid time off they have accumulated for its intended purpose?

Younger workers say they feel pressured to meet deadlines and be productive. They are nervous about requesting PTO days from their boss because they don’t want to look like a slacker.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2022, around 72% of American employees had PTO, which ranged, on average, from 6 to 13 days depending on the worker’s age.

Quiet vacationing: The stealthy tactics

Remote workers who “quiet vacation” stay logged in to their company’s platforms, systems, and messaging apps, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams – however, they aren’t really working. They’ll “move their mouse” to appear as if they’re still active. They’ll also schedule messages to be sent at specific times or even outside of regular hours to give the impression they’re working overtime.

Obviously, as stories like this circulate, bosses are likely to start scrutinizing remote workers more closely. That means those who wish to “quiet vacation” must master the techniques to avoid infuriating their boss or find themselves written up, or worse, face the prospect of being fired.

There are some other tips that “quiet vacationing” experts share for pulling it off successfully.

1. Make sure your work gets done

No matter where you are or whatever else you’re doing while quiet vacationing, the #1 failure is not getting your work done. You want to make sure you deliver your key performance indicators within the expected time. Make sure to bring your devices wherever you are in case someone tries to contact you so that you’ll get the notification and be able to check in and respond timely.

2. Know your manager

You need to be keenly aware of your manager and their management style. Naturally, “quiet vacationing” is easier to pull off with a boss who rarely checks in. In addition, keep your Instagram (and other social media) private, and don’t allow your boss to follow you.

3. Stay off social media

If at all possible, stay off social media during work hours. Don’t mention your location on social media, even after work hours.

4. Ways to keep your location hidden

Disable the camera you use for Zoom or Google meetings so no one can tell where you are.