5 PTO Trends That Are Changing The Game

by Katie Sawyer, 3 minutes read
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As you continue to adjust during a global pandemic, the daily routine for many is all work and no PTO. Healthcare, retail, and hospitality workers feel the burn with no end in sight.

It’s an ideal recipe for team burnout and a decline in employee morale. Because of recent times, many companies are taking a fresh look at their current PTO plans and whether they’re a fit for their workforce. If you’re one of those companies, here are a few ideas to think about.

1. PTO pool

Many companies already have this system in place. This is a single bank of earned PTO which is available for any reason. There aren’t any allotments for sick days, bereavement, vacation, etc. Instead, can save all the allotted time to take a long vacation, or use throughout the year for small breaks. Sometimes this PTO is available all at once at the start of the year. Other companies have an accrual system in which employees add to their PTO bank every pay period they work.

While the flexibility of this PTO plan can be a benefit for employees, a drawback could be that a worker loses the desired vacation time for relaxation due to circumstances such as falling ill earlier in the year. Worse, they may opt to come in when sick to avoid this outcome.

2. Separate PTO allotments

With this plan, employees have allotted time off for vacations, illness, or other reasons. This is a more traditional PTO plan.

The advantage of this plan is that you can track how much time employees take off and for what reasons. This allows you to adjust these allotments in future years, within reason.

A PTO plan like this can also accommodate a new “pandemic leave” as many companies are doing.

3. PTO payout

For those companies that are hard hit by the pandemic, either running with skeleton crews or too busy to lose anyone, finding vacation time at all is a challenge. Some companies are offering a cash-out option for their employees so that they may still enjoy their earned PTO when they’re needed in the workplace.

Your employees probably would rather take the time off and rest later. But if an employee could use the money and isn’t planning to take a vacation any time soon, this could be a worthwhile option to explore.

4. Unlimited PTO

The unlimited PTO plan is a new idea and popular with startups. In theory, employees can take as much time off as they need without the worry of running out or losing pay. It might sound outrageous, but there are many pros and cons to this system.

It can be a great recruiting bonus and draw for employees, especially if you’re working in a competitive area for your industry. Employees enjoy that they have a safety net if something goes wrong in their lives outside of work, or if they start to feel the burnout. Your staff could come to work feeling better rested, at least in theory. Your payroll department may also thank you, as there is no obligation to pay out leftover PTO if an employee should resign.

At the same time, sometimes employees take less time off under an unlimited PTO plan than in a traditional plan. Those who do take advantage of unlimited PTO have the potential to abuse it without regulations put in place by management — at which point it’s no longer “unlimited.”

5. Return to company holidays

In the not too distant past, retailers still closed their doors for holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. A rush to capture last-minute sales and expand Black Friday offerings led to many companies creeping their operating hours into what was once time spent with family. There were protests, but customers enjoyed extended sales hours all the same.

With the rise of COVID-19 and fears of customer safety during the busy shopping season, many big retailers are now taking a step back. Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and many others have already announced they will close their doors on Thanksgiving Day. If you aren’t already doing the same, consider giving your employees time at home during this holiday season.

Choose a company holiday policy that works for your team

Be sure to research options for PTO plans and weigh the pros and cons. Deputy can help guide you toward finding an ideal solution for your workplace.

The new way of working is changing how everyone is thinking about their workforce. Download this ebook to learn more.

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