Gen Z has the worst work-life balance, and they’ve only started in the workforce

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How’s your work-life balance rating lately? If you’re like anyone else, sometimes it’s a little more work, sometimes it’s a little more life. Priceline debuted the results of their second Work Life Balance report, commissioned by Priceline and executed by Savanta, who surveyed 1,000 full-time working Americans, and they discovered that more than half (55%) have more than 10 vacations days each year.

Sounds good, right? However, one-third (nearly 44 million) nevertheless have seven days or more still remaining at the end of the year.

Why? The most commonly cited reasons are either that they feel too guilty to get away from work (18%),  or that they’re too busy (or they’ve made themselves too busy) to get away.

But there’s one group that’s the guiltiest of them all, and knowing who they are might surprise you.

Gen Z has the worst work-life balance

Generation Z has singled themselves out as a generation that’s already working themselves to the bone.

  • Nearly a quarter (24%) of Gen Z say they feel guilty taking any time off work, which means they don’t take all their paid time off in a year. (They’re followed by Millennials, at 19%, Gen Xers, at 16%, and Boomers, at 8%).
  • Another quarter (24%) of Gen Z say they fret that taking all of their allotted vacation time would cause people to judge them at work – and they worry about this much more than any other generation at work. The closest behind them are Millennials, at 15%.
  • And if Gen Zers do go on vacation, they were the most likely to say they feel under pressure to check email or voicemail while they’re on holiday (47%), followed by Millennials (40%)

Under pressure

But it’s not just Gen Z that feels the need to be “always-on,” making vacations less fun. Americans of all generations feel like they’re hauling the office with them when they go on a much-needed vacation.

Almost a third (29%) said their company, or at least their manager, have expectations that they are “available” in some form while on holiday, and 38% say they feel under the gun to check email or voicemail while taking much-needed time away from work.

And a said 15% of Americans employees say the somehow end up doing work at some point in every vacation they take.

Other findings

Using vacation days for other people’s fun is no fun: a quarter (26%) of respondents regretted spending too much of their time off on other people’s fun: weddings, special occasions, and so on.

A vacation regret: spontaneity! Nearly a third (30%) felt they missed out on taking whirlwind, last-minute trips. Pack your bags, honey, we’re going to Cancun!