Remote Workers Have Started ‘Quiet Vacationing’ On The Clock Instead Of Telling Work They’re Taking PTO

Not being in the office, they're reclaiming personal time while on the clock.

Remote worker relaxing while working. insta_photos /

There's a misconception that remote workers are on such a flexible schedule it's like a vacation every day, but that could be further from the truth.

recent CNBC article noted that Gen-Z and millennial remote workers are so reluctant to use their allotted PTO for fear of losing their jobs or using up valuable personal time that they've started “Quiet Vacationing.” 

Millennial and Gen-Z remote workers are reluctant to use PTO but are still ‘quiet vacationing’ to maintain a work-life balance.

Instead of waiting to accrue PTO or asking their boss for time away, Gen-Z and millennial workers are just taking vacations while on the clock — at least, according to a 2023 Harris Poll


Dubbed “quiet vacationing,” these young employees can be found lounging poolside with their laptops or simply resting intermittently in their home office, “mouse jiggling” to stay active.

remote worker on laptop poolside avanti_photo / Canva Pro

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One in three remote workers travels frequently while still doing their job, working from domestic and international destinations that suit their personal lives and hobbies. But is this kind of behavior frowned upon? Isn’t that why most people seek remote jobs?

Remote job perks give employees the freedom to work from anywhere, whether that means their backyard, bed, or Budapest. As long as they get their work done, is it truly “quiet” or “secret” vacationing because they’re not in a specified home office?

Many remote workers don’t take PTO because they feel employers frown upon it. Instead, they take ‘quiet vacations’ for breaks, travel, and rest.

“You will not be shaming and guilting us back into the old ways of working,” millennial burnout expert Peter Guse shared on TikTok. “First of all, millennials are trying to create a smidge of work-life balance in their lives … they’re saying, ‘We won’t be able to retire, why not go to the pretty places now and still work and get our jobs done,’ only for it to be called quiet vacationing."

If they’re completing their work for the day and then taking time to explore and enjoy new places, is that really hurting anyone? It’s almost as if our normalized toxic workplace culture only believes employees are productive if they’re holed up at home, alone, miserable with unrealistic workloads and expectations. 


Why are they so afraid of having employees complete their jobs from different spaces?

Remote worker quiet vacationing by the pool. Dotshock /

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Toxic cultures about rest at work, insufficient vacation time, and work-life balance misconceptions have fueled the emergence of similar workplace trends.

Instead of quiet quitting or coffee badging as a means to recuperate from the overwork of the daily grind, workers are taking a more positive spin with quiet vacationing by simply changing the scenery as a means to improve their mindset. 


Especially if they’re getting their work completed or are still available online for emergencies, who’s to say working under an umbrella at the beach is any less productive than from the living room couch?

@garlandfuller Quiet vacationing is NOT okay. Please let me know in the comments how you are managing your vacation when you’re practicing quiet vacationing.You are allowed to use your PTO hours to TAKE A BREAK. Are you saving your PTO hours for when you’re laid off? I’m confused why you wouldn’t let your boss know you are taking off.Sound off in the comments below#quietvacation #advocacy #careertiktok #careeradvice#workfromhome #toxicworkplace#greenscreen ♬ original sound - garlandrfuller

While online critics condemn the deceit of the trend, including those who argue it’s “your right” to take time off, the unfortunate reality is that the benefit of remote work often means employers look down on using PTO. Especially for younger workers entering into the workforce for the first time, the desire to please and be over-productive — while also prioritizing personal well-being — is the all-desired balance.

“There’s a giant workaround culture at play,” Libby Rodney, The Harris Poll’s chief strategy officer, told CNBC. “They will figure out how to get appropriate work-life balance, but it’s happening behind the scenes. It’s not exactly quiet quitting, but more like quiet vacationing.”


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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.