Acumen Insights

Millennial Perceptions of Work Martyrs

By April 12, 2017 No Comments

As reported by Project Time Off, GfK conducted an online survey of adults 19+ who work more than 35 hours a week and receive paid time off from their employers. The researchers examined the generational differences in the perceptions of being a work martyr. A work martyr is defined as the belief that it is difficult to take vacations because: (1) no one can do your work while you are away, (2) you want to show complete dedication to company/job, (3) you want others to think you are irreplaceable, (4) you feel guilty for using paid time off.

Compared to the other generations, Millennials were the most likely to report that being a work martyr is a good thing. Just under half of the Millennials (48 percent) reported that it is a good thing to be seen as a work martyr by the boss. Only 39 percent of Gen Xers and 32 percent of Boomers reported feeling this way. Thirty-five percent of Millennials reported that it is a good thing to be seen as a work martyr by their colleagues. Approximately 26 percent of Gen Xers and 20 percent of Boomers agreed.

Millennials were also highly likely to report that their company culture either says nothing or sends discouraging or mixed messages about taking time off. Seven in ten (70 percent) of Millennials said this. Millennials were also two times more likely (16 percent) to say they feel disapproval from management when taking vacation than Boomers (8 percent).

Of all the generations, Millennials were also the most likely to forfeit time off, even though they earn the least amount of vacation days. Over a third of Millennials (37 percent) reported receiving 10 or less vacation days, compared to 20 percent of Gen Xers and 18 percent of Boomers. Despite this limited vacation time, 24 percent of Millennials either forfeited vacation days or did not know if they forfeited in the past year. Approximately 19 percent of Gen Xers and 17 percent of Boomers reported this.