Before the year 2000, the average working American took off more than 20 days a year. However, according to CNBC, by 2016 that number had decreased to just 16 days off for the average American. While we all know that taking paid time off is an important part of the work-life balance, it is also beneficial to employees and your business, as well.
Whether you are just starting your own business, or are considering adding paid time off to your company’s benefits, this guide can help you learn what you need to know about paid time off including everything from the benefits of PTO to PTO tracking.
So What Is Paid Time Off?
Basically, paid time off (PTO) is a certain number of days that an employee is allowed to take with pay, typically based on the amount of time they’ve worked at a company. In many cases, PTO replaces sick leave and vacation days. Instead, companies will use PTO as a sort of all-in-one opportunity for employees to take time off at their own discretion for whatever reason. It offers many benefits to both the employee and the employer.
Why Paid Time Off is Beneficial for Your Employees
There are many benefits of taking paid time off. People need to give their brains and their bodies a break from work. Doing so helps prevent burnout, allows your body the rest it needs to remain healthy and avoid illness, and also enables you to be more productive and creative once you return to work. Taking paid time off also lowers stress significantly, and is part of having a healthy work-life balance.
Some Benefits of Offering Paid Time off for Your Business
Offering paid time to your employees also has many benefits for your business as well. First of all, encouraging your employees to take paid time off can lead to better employee retention. Your employees will be happier and have more positive feelings towards you and their work. And happy workers are more productive workers.
Secondly, offering PTO is a great business tool. It can help a business attract and keep top talent. It shows current (and potential) employees that you truly care about their well-being and the future of your business. And it also encourages and fosters independence among employees, as well as collaboration with a variety of colleagues.
Finally, with paid time off, employees get the rest they need and are often more relaxed, less stressed and in better health overall. This, in turn, not only leads to fewer worker absences, but it can also help prevent possible insurance issues due to tiredness, stress, and overwork.
How is PTO Calculated?
How paid time off works varies from business to business. It can be calculated in several different ways ranging from the number of hours worked in a pay period to annual allotments. In general, however, many businesses tend to stick to yearly awarded days so they can easily and adequately schedule coverage and stand-ins.
To keep up with how much time off an employee has earned and use, many companies opt to use PTO tracking. Using PTO tracking makes it easier to track and record an employees alotted, requested and used time off, which in turn eliminates any untracked paid time off which can add up quickly and cost a company a lot of money.
Creating a Vacation-taking Culture in Your Business
In recent years, there has been a noticeable trend in the number of employees who are not taking advantage of some or all of their paid vacation time. One of the biggest reasons why workers don’t take all of their paid vacations is due to fear. The fear of someone else not being able to do their job while away on vacation, the fear of having too much work piled up once they return from vacation, and even the fear that they will be replaced while on vacation.
To avoid this, an employer should create a clear vacation policy, and should also encourage and ensure that their employees use it. Some companies are doing this by requiring a minimum number of days that an employee must take. Figure out what works best for your company, and do it.
Additionally, in many cases, the culture of a business is set by its leaders’ behaviors. This is why it is important for you as the business owner, boss or team-leader, to lead by example and use your own vacation days.
Taking paid time off has many clear benefits for both the employee and the employer. It is essential for creating a productive workforce and ensuring a healthy, fulfilled life. It is also essential for a good bottom line. If PTO is something you are considering, it’s definitely worth your while!