Half of Adults Would Lie to Avoid Working While on Vacation

Millennials most willing to stretch the truth to avoid job creep
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While technology has made it easier for vacationing employees to keep up with what’s happening in the office, not all workers are keen about such open lines of communication. In fact, a new survey suggests nearly half would lie about their access to technology in order to avoid checking in at work.

The lines between professional and personal time appear to be blurred for many employees as 65% of workers believe they are obligated to check in with colleagues at the office while on vacation, according to the 2019 Vacation Confidence Index by travel insurance company Allianz Global Assistance. To come up with the data, Allianz commissioned polling company Ipsos to survey 1,005 adults. Respondents included millennials, defined as those between 18 and 34; Gen Xers, defined as those between 35 and 54, and baby boomers, defined as those 55 and up.

Despite the pressure to stay connected to the office, not all employees are willing to adhere to such expectations. In fact, 49% said they’d lie to an employer about Wi-Fi availability or having limited phone access in order to get out of checking in. While men and women are equally likely to use the excuse, the white lie is most popular among millennials with 59% saying they’d use it, compared with 49% of Gen Xers and 32% of boomers.

One’s salary appears to also play a role in their willingness to lie to get out of checking in at work. More than half ⁠— 53% ⁠— of respondents earning more than $50,000 a year said they would use the excuse compared with only 39% of those who earn less than $50,000 per year. According to the findings, the person most likely to use the excuse is a white, college-educated millennial from the Northeast who is married with children and makes more than $50,000.

Of course, not all respondents were looking for excuses to get out of work. A majority of millennials ⁠— 74% ⁠— said they check email while on vacation, as well as 63% of boomers and 58% of Gen Xers. The most common reason given for doing so is that it makes catching up with work easier once they return.

More than half of respondents ⁠— 54% ⁠— would choose to work more while away if doing so would allow them to have more vacation time. In fact, 64% of millennials said they would do this. Boomers, however, were more likely to prefer their vacation time totally disconnected from the office, as 54% said they’d take fewer vacations if it meant they could go totally off the grid.

While it’s up to every individual employee to decide how much they’re willing to do while on vacation, many millennials in particular have learned how to strike a balance between vacationing and working. For entrepreneurs, this trend can be particularly good for business. After all, offering paid vacation is a great way to attract top talent, and many employees are willing to keep up with their workload even when they are away.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.

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