As a business owner, you know how difficult establishing a paid time off policy is. Providing too little can make your business seem unfair, but giving away too much might make you feel like you’re losing money. Therefore, it might come as a shock to even suggest the idea of unlimited PTO. Some business owners, on the other hand, find it completely effective, and that it can even improve the quality of work.
The current state of PTO in the workplace is pretty standard, regardless of where you look. Employees are either given a set amount of hours at the beginning of the year which they use at their leisure, or they accrue them on a monthly or yearly basis. These employees put in a two-week notice of their designated time off, and they’re all set, so long as their absence is approved for that time. This puts a limit on recuperation time. While this might seem like it doesn’t matter, proper rest can help your team push above and beyond, to their maximum productivity.
Zach Ferres, CEO of Coplex, is a big advocate of unlimited paid time off, and for good reason. He claims that it offers a unique return on investment that’s beneficial to your business’s operation:
Employers who offer unlimited PTO report increased employee satisfaction, improved work-life balance and greater productivity. Plus, unlimited PTO can be a huge selling point when you’re recruiting, and it will actually save your HR department an average of 52 hours per year.
One popular company that has implemented this policy with great success is the video streaming service Netflix. Last year, Virgin founder Richard Branson followed suit, as reported by Business Insider:
Virgin founder Richard Branson recently declared that the company's employees can take as many vacation days as they want, provided that "their absence will not in any way damage the business — or, for that matter, their careers!" Branson said that he got the idea from Netflix.
Of course, one of the greatest benefits that an unlimited PTO policy has is that it can make your team feel like you care about them and their personal lives. This can drastically improve operations and inter-office relationships. According to Feres, here’s how it’s done.
Trust Is Key
Before you even consider integrating an unlimited PTO policy, it’s important that you ask yourself whether or not you can trust your employees to not abuse the privilege. If they start to take days off willy-nilly, it might be time to reconsider your policy. If you take the leap of faith, however, it also shows your team that you trust them; a valuable asset that can make working for you that much better.
Create a Mandatory Minimum PTO Policy
Some employees work too much and don’t take time off, even when they do have it available. This can be harmful, especially if they get burned out from working too hard. Mistakes happen when employees are tired or overworked, so the best way to avoid this is by making them take time off once in a while. This lowers stress and keeps your employees happy.
Use a Time-Off Request Process…
Naturally, employees should have to go through a certain process in order to use their PTO. People can’t randomly be coming and going as they see fit. Generally, you should know at least a few weeks ahead of time when someone wants to take time off. You can use this time to divvy up urgent tasks to others who will be in the office.
… And Keep Track of the Requests
This is primarily so you know who is taking the most time off and why. This helps you keep track of your employees and whether or not they’re taking advantage of your PTO policy. On the other hand, you’ll also know who isn’t taking enough time off, which will make it easier to encourage them to do so.
What are your thoughts on unlimited PTO? Is this leap of faith something you’re willing to try? Let us know in the comments.