All work and no play for millennial employees

More than half of younger workers won’t use all their paid time off

Memo to boomers: Millennial employees work harder than you think.

A recent survey from Bankrate said 53 percent of workers ages 18 to 35 will not take at least some of their paid vacation for 2016. The personal finance site polled 1,000 adults in the U.S. from Dec. 8 to Dec. 11.

The youngest millennials, ages 18 to 25, are true workaholics: A quarter of them say they haven't taken any time off this year.

millennials in office
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"Millennials want to dispel the stereotypes that label them as entitled and lazy," said Sarah Berger, a personal finance expert at Bankrate. "They are wary about taking paid time off."

Across the board, 52 percent of all workers who get vacation will end the year with at least some of their leave time left unused.

On average, they will be missing out on 19 days that they could've taken off, according to Bankrate.

Rolling time over

Some employees are skipping their vacations because they plan on rolling those unused days into next year. To that point, 35 percent of those surveyed said they planned on using 2016 time off in 2017, perhaps for a lengthy trip.

Twenty-three percent said they were too swamped to take off this year, according to Bankrate.

Sixteen percent said they enjoyed their work so much that they simply didn't take off all their allotted vacation days.

"Many people have this perception that skipping on vacation time makes them look like a better employee," Berger said.

Know the policies

If you're hoarding vacation time with the hopes of banking it for 2017, you might want to check your company's policy on paid time off first.

A survey of 481 human resources professionals by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 3 in 5 employers allow their workers to bump their unused days into the new year. However, more than half of these companies will allow you to roll over only a limited number of days.

Among firms that allow workers to roll over some, but not all of their accumulated days off, 56 percent permit employees to push one to 10 days off into the next year, according to the Society.

This doesn't bode well for workaholics who are sitting on 20 unused days for 2016.

On the other hand, less than 1 percent of employers offer unlimited paid time off, according to the society. While this sounds like a generous policy, it may deter employees from going on vacation because they worry about how much time off is actually acceptable, some human resources experts say.

Resolve to go on vacation

As we head in to 2017, consider using your time off in the new year.

Research from Project Time Off found that martyrdom at work doesn't pay: Workers who use 10 or fewer days off are less likely to have received a raise or a bonus in the last three years, compared with those who took at least 11 days off.

"If you don't take the time to recharge, your relationships will suffer, and you'll get burned out," said Berger.

"I recommend giving yourself a break and taking the time you're entitled to," she said. "Spend that time with family and friends."