Millennials obsess over their jobs more than older generations, and it's beginning to negatively affect the rest of the workforce. As Travel + Leisure reports, millions of vacation days go to waste each year and the attitudes of 18- to 35-year-olds may be to blame.

Project: Time Off, an initiative started by the U.S. Travel Association, recently released a report titled "The Work Martyr’s Cautionary Tale: How the Millennial Work Experience Will Define America’s Vacation Culture." In it, they surveyed 5641 workers age 18 and older. Thirty-nine percent of all respondents said they wanted to be seen seen as a "work martyr" by their boss, compared to 48 percent of Millennial employees. The study defined a "work martyr" as someone who agreed with the following statements:

  • "No one else at my company can do the work while I’m away."
  • "I want to show complete dedication to my company and job."
  • "I don’t want others to think I am replaceable."
  • "I feel guilty for using my paid time off."

Unsurprisingly, many people who hold these values at work feel differently at home. When asked if it was a bad thing to be viewed as a work martyr by their family, 86 percent of respondents agreed.

The U.S. Travel Association connects the results to the decline of vacation day usage, which can be traced back to 2000, when the oldest Millennials first entered the workforce. A previous survey from Alamo Rent A Car found that 42 percent of Millennials admitted to shaming their coworkers for taking vacations, compared to 22 percent of general workers. Last year, an estimated 55 percent of employed Americans let some of their vacation days go unused. That adds up to a total 658 million days of wasted vacation time, according to Project: Time Off.

The group was founded to encourage Americans to embrace paid vacations, so a study that supports their cause should be interpreted with the organization's mission in mind. But the fact that Americans are taking less time away than they were a few decades ago can’t be denied.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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