Why Time Off Is Beneficial for Your Business
It’s no secret that PTO is better for business, still, many Americans aren’t taking it. According to a study by Project Time Off, American workers accumulated 705 million unused PTO days in 2017, up from 662 million days the year before. This is in part due to a fear of taking PTO, a lack of PTO incentives in the company, and a lack of easy to use tools making requesting and managing time off / PTO less intimidating.
So why should your company be encouraging and incentivizing employees to take PTO? Refreshed employees work harder, are healthier, are happier, and will fight for their spot to stay at your company when newer talent tries to get in the door.
Better Work Ethic + More Productivity
Americans work non-stop and it’s hurting your business. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, American workers in the private sector, on average, receive 10 vacation days in their first year of work. That increases to about 20 days after 20 years of work with the company, according to the OCED. The U.K. and European countries like France, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg and Sweden all require 25 or more paid annual leave days. In 2015, 9 out of 10 of the OCED’s most productive countries measured by GDP per hour worked were in Europe. The U.S came in at number 6. People who take time off aren’t less productive. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, 94% of people that took relaxing vacations, and unplugged from work had as much or more energy after coming back after a good trip and 55% returned to work with even higher levels of energy than before the trip. Another one of their studies shows that those who took fewer than 10 PTO days per year had a 34.6% chance of getting a raise or bonus in a three-year time period. Those who took more than 10 PTO days had a 65.4% chance of receiving a raise or bonus.
Long hours with few breaks can lead to stress, depression, heart disease, mental fatigue, and a myriad of other health issues. PTO allows employees to take much needed mental breaks and time off to set appointments with doctors to check in on their mental and physical health. A study published in 2018 by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health showed that people who took 4 days off saw lower stress levels. Overtime, high-stress levels can lead to issues with your immune, digestive, cardiovascular, sleep, and reproductive systems. Another study by Psychosomatic Medicine showed that annual vacations reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Smiles + Happy Work Environment
According to a 2017 Pew Research study that surveyed employees on what they felt were the 5 most beneficial work benefits, 38% of U.S employees say having paid leave was most important, 24% said having the flexibility to choose their work schedule was a top benefit, 18% said a work from home option was the top benefit, 11% said PTO for doctor’s appointments was the top benefit, and 8% said knowing work schedules well in advance was the top benefit. Above all, employees saw PTO as the most beneficial benefit.
Overall, PTO leads to employee wellness which is beneficial for your business. Companies should encourage PTO because it leads to increased work productivity, healthier employees, and a happier work environment. Improving your company’s PTO strategy and benefits will not only assist your existing employees in putting their best foot forward, you’ll also attract the top talent in your industry who are yearning for better work-life balance.