The United States is the only developed country in the entire world that doesn’t legally require paid vacation days or holidays. By law, every single country in the European Union, for example, has at least four weeks of paid vacation days. Meanwhile, a quarter of Americans don’t even have one day off.
The fact of the matter is: Most Americans don’t even take the days when they do have ’em. In 2015, 55 percent of Americans combined left 658 million vacation days unused, faced with this seemingly impossible challenge of making time to take time. But who’s to blame for this? Millenials, according to a new Project: Time Off study, The Work Martyr’s Cautionary Tale: How the Millennial Experience Will Define America’s Vacation Culture.
Given burgeoning student loan debt and the fact that many millennials entered the workforce during the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression, it’s not entirely their faults.
It makes sense timeline-wise: The decline in the usage of vacay days all started in 2000, just as the oldest millennials—those born around 1980—started to enter the workforce and create today’s era of work martyrdom. In other words, people used to prioritize family and happiness over work but, contrary to popular belief, millennials are actually pretty damn work-obsessed (not lazy).
In a survey of more than 5,600 working Americans, nearly half (48 percent) of the millennials surveyed said it is a good thing to be seen as a work martyr by their bosses. And this, in turn, is responsible for making others feel a sense of shame for taking time. But, given burgeoning student loan debt and the fact that many millennials entered the workforce during the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression, it’s not entirely their faults.
Nonetheless, the work-martyr mindset is fundamentally flawed and poisonous to company cultures, says the report. Worrying that no one will be able to do your job while you’re away, or that you are indeed replaceable, is far from healthy. That’s probably why the biggest martyrs are reportedly the most unhappy in their jobs, as well. Those who take more time off actually like their jobs a heck of a lot more.
Basically, book that Groupon to Iceland. We know it’s been tantalizing you via some email subscription you don’t even remember signing up for…
Here are a few links to get you started: Difficult and Risky Places That Are Totally Worth the Trek, How and Why to Travel Solo, How to Travel Fearlessly in the Age of ISIS and Zika, 6 Killer Cameras for Documenting Your Summer Travels…