Unlimited PTO: A friend or foe?

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​​​​What is Unlimited PTO?

Unlimited paid time off is a benefit that allows employees to take off as many days as they would like. Limited paid time off is a restricted number of days that an employer allows employees to take off of work in a given year.

Benefits of Unlimited Paid Time Off

Unlimited paid time off has shown increased productivity levels, knowing you have the ability to take off when needed, allows the employee to relax and refresh. This often leads to higher productivity levels and makes them more likely to work efficiently and effectively. Another benefit of unlimited PTO is the small amount of administration time needed. Human Resources employees will have to spend less time scheduling and tracking other employees' paid time off because there is not a set number of days given to the employees. With unlimited PTO, the idea of sick days completely changes. Employees have the ability to stay home when they are sick which not only benefits them, but also the other employees they work with. When a company offers unlimited paid time off, it becomes a great asset for their talent acquisition. It makes the company stand out which allows for qualified employees to be more interested in the company.

Downfalls of Unlimited Paid Time Off

One of the biggest issues with unlimited paid time off is the fear of use from employees. Many fear that they will be looked down on or judged in the workplace for taking too many days which often leads them to take less days off than the recommended amount. Another downfall is the lack of accrued days, oftentimes employees save their PTO for when they are leaving a company to essentially "cash out" and receive compensation for the days they did not take. A potential risk of unlimited PTO is the fear of employees taking too many days off from work at the same time. If one too many employees take off, work will not get done or will be put on other employees who are working. Lastly, unlimited PTO can be difficult to implement, especially with the concern of employees taking too much time off or not enough time off.

The Best of Both Worlds

A happy medium for both unlimited paid time off and limited paid time is to offer employees a set number of days per year that they must take off, while also giving the option of more time off for when the employee needs. This ensures that employees are taking necessary time off to enjoy life and refresh, but also giving them the flexibility to take more days off as they please.