Don’t Let Unused PTO Drain Your Office Productivity

PTO … it’s one of the cornerstone benefits in today’s corporate America. But what happens when PTO regularly goes unused? Is it beneficial or detrimental to the company when its employees stay “hard at work” and forgo earned vacation time?

After working with hundreds of companies and thousands of employees, we’ve seen or heard our fair share of relatable PTO stories. In fact, we’ve heard first hand on multiple occasions where an employee who wasn’t using their PTO started losing their passion at work. These dedicated workers were so committed to their job responsibilities that they were metaphorically self-shackled to their desks.

In some extreme instances, employers would even mandate these employees to take time away. And in almost every instance, the person would return with a refreshed attitude and reignited enthusiasm. Often times they would thank their employers for helping them break their addiction to “having to be at work”.

Over the years, we’ve spoken regularly to our clients about their policies and how their employees make use of their earned time off. From what we are seeing in and around the industry, we encourage businesses to use PTO structures to their strategic advantage and help all employees recognize the value of taking their PTO.

REMEMBER: PTO benefits all parties by …

  • Boosting employee morale. For some employees, PTO can act as a reward and recognition system for their continued dedication and commitment to producing a quality work product. Earned PTO helps them feel worthy and respected among peers. Taking time away equates to a “job well done.”
  • Increasing productivity. Employees that take a week off, or even just a day, can come back refreshed and ready to put forth maximum effort in the office. Productivity increases because the instances of employee burnout and disenchantment are naturally decreased. Time away from the office can yield better moods in team-based work environments and contribute to maintaining healthy office chemistry.
  • Encouraging life enrichment. When employees take a break from day-to-day operations, they are freed to spend time as they see fit. That can mean time well spent with their families, or simply checking off their to-do lists around the house. This freedom is important in maintaining a healthy work-life balance – a crucial pillar in achieving overall personal wellness.