Quiet vacationing may get you in trouble. Is it worth the risk?

quiet vacationing may get you in trouble. is it worth the risk?

Quiet vacationing has become a recent trend among employees.

DEAR READERS: Have you heard of — or maybe even engaged in — quiet vacationing? According to a recent survey from ResumeBuilder, this practice of taking vacation time without informing your employer is one of the latest trends hitting the workplace.

One in 10 workers participated in quiet vacationing in the past year, one in eight intend to do it this summer, and one in four workers at companies that don’t offer “Summer Fridays” plan to practice that anyway.

What are the risks someone should at least consider if they’re thinking of heading to the beach for an unofficial day off or heading out of town for a four-day weekend without letting their manager or co-workers know? And should they answer calls/emails/texts that come in while they’re on their “quiet vacation”?

quiet vacationing may get you in trouble. is it worth the risk?

Kathleen Furore

“Quiet vacationing has indeed become a trend,” says Anna Williams, HR director at the web design agency Digital Silk. “However, it is crucial for any employee considering it to weigh the potential risks.”

Here, Williams and Max Shak, founder and CEO of digital marketing agency nerDigital, weigh in on the negative consequences to consider before caving to the temptation of embarking on a quiet vacation.

It can erode trust between you and your employer. “If your absence is discovered, it might lead to questions about your integrity and reliability,” Shak warns.

It can disrupt projects in progress. “It may compromise necessary team task-load management,” says Williams. That could inadvertently result in overstretching colleagues, which is generally not favorable for a healthy work ambiance.”

“Unannounced absences can disrupt team workflows and project timelines,” Shak adds. “Your role in collaborative tasks is crucial, and your sudden unavailability can hinder progress.”

It can damage your professional reputation. And that doesn’t mean only with your current employer, Shak notes. “Repeated incidents of quiet vacationing can damage your professional reputation, both within your current company and in future job opportunities,” he cautions.

It might be a violation of company policy.“Depending on your company’s policies, quiet vacationing could be a breach of employment terms, potentially leading to disciplinary action or even termination,” Shak says.

If you still decide to head off without informing your boss or co-workers of your vacation plans, both Shak and Williams warn that ignoring communication is not the best approach.

Shak recommends selectively answering critical calls, emails and texts. “This can help mitigate some of the negative impacts,” says Shak.

Williams suggests a similar approach. “Employees might consider setting boundaries; for example, checking emails once a day to primarily ensure that no emergencies are left unanswered,” she says.

There is one caveat: “This approach is not foolproof and can still lead to discovery,” Shak adds.

The bottom line: Honesty is always the best policy, stresses Shak, who recommends “proactive communication” instead of the quiet treatment.

“A better strategy is to inform your manager and co-workers about your planned absence, even if it’s short notice,” he concludes. “Transparency fosters trust and allows for proper planning in your absence.”

(Kathleen Furore is a Chicago-based writer and editor who has covered personal finance and other business-related topics for a variety of trade and consumer publications. You can email her your career questions at [email protected].)

©2024 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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