When I received my offer letter from Intelletec, I noticed they offered unlimited PTO. It definitely grabbed my attention, as someone who believes in a strong work-life balance, it was even more reason to accept the offer. I’ve never worked with a company that had an unlimited policy, I wasn’t quite sure how it worked or if it truly meant “unlimited.” I’m hearing more and more often of companies offering unlimited PTO and I’ve heard mixed reviews. Some love it, some people are stressed when it comes to taking the right amount of time away from their work. I’m here to tell you that I believe that work-life balance is important now more than ever and how my company’s unlimited PTO has motivated me to put extra energy into my work and be on top of schedule more than I have.
From my perspective, an unlimited policy is a strong sense of freedom within a job. In a 2018 article Jenn Burton, an HR manager at San Francisco-based virtual assistant platform Equivity, wrote: “An employer who offers unlimited PTO is essentially telling its employees up front that trust is a cornerstone of their organization.” There are certain boundaries that are set, but only assuming that comes with the employees knowledge of how this could go without abusing the policy or taking advantage of the time. It’s made me feel less stressed about how or when I’m allowed to take vacation, if I’m using the right amount of vacation time, if I’m not using enough or the stress of putting in that initial request for time away from work. In fact, an estimated 662 million vacation days are left unused each year, according to ProjectTimeOff.com.
One of the biggest reasons why work life balance is important relates to mental health. When we feel balanced we are more capable of dealing with negative emotions and thoughts. We only live once, if we are stressed about taking time away from the computer screen or afraid we will fall behind in our work because we step away for a couple days, it puts more pressure and stress on the human mind and body. Personally, with a flexible Work From Home schedule and an unlimited PTO policy, it helps me focus and prioritize my work in ways I never thought possible. Having the freedom and trust within your company is one thing I value most, I’m happier with my work, I’m more engaged and I want to prove myself more and more each day.
It’s important for employers to know that work-life balance is more than just working hours vs non-working hours. It’s giving your employees the opportunity to work hard and make a difference in a company as well as enjoying life outside of work whenever they feel it is necessary. A study by Ernst & Young found that every 10 hours of vacation time taken by an employee improved his/her year-end performance rating by 8%, and lowered attrition. Former NASA scientists determined that people who take vacations experience an 82% increase in job performance once they return, with longer vacations having more of an impact than short ones. It’s always beneficial to keep your existing employees happy. Focussing on work-life balance will help you draw a valuable talent-pool for new recruits and boost retention rates. It will save time and money, whilst ensuring a high level of in-house talent. Employees, particularly younger workers and millennials who make up about half of today’s workforce, crave more work-life balance, flexibility and independence.
To meet the changing expectations of today’s workforce, employers need to ensure that they are building benefits plans that meet their employees’ wide range of needs. To make this policy effective, here at Intelletec we require a minimum of 10 days of PTO taken for the year, to ensure that there is no hesitation or stress of missing work or even guilt of stepping away as some may encounter.
It may seem as though an unlimited PTO policy is just a small incentive within a company, but for myself, coming from 3 companies here in Los Angeles who did not offer that, it makes a world of a difference. No longer stressing about accruing hours, not using all the vacation time before the end of the year, happier knowing I have more freedom and control within my personal life and work life, and less time keeping track of hours I’ve taken and how many I have left. It works out to be a bonus for both myself and my company.
We would love to know if your company offers unlimited PTO, and if it helps with work-life balance? Do you stress about accruing hours or not taking enough vacation time? Would you feel as though you had more freedom and trust within your company knowing you could take a holiday when needed? Finally, would your desire and motivation to work harder increase with unlimited PTO?
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