HR Newsletter: Employees Are Satisfied With Their PTO, but Don’t Exhaust It

HR Newsletter: Employees Are Satisfied With Their PTO, but Don’t Exhaust It

A new Harris Poll survey found that most employed Americans are satisfied with their company’s paid time off (PTO) policy; however, 3 in 4 said they didn’t use the maximum PTO permitted by their employer. PTO broadly covers any paid absence from work – it includes various reasons such as vacation, illness, and personal days.

According to the survey, most U.S. workers get between 11 and 30 PTO days yearly. Consider these additional key findings from the survey:

  • Most Americans (83%) are satisfied with their company’s PTO policy. Over half (60%) are given more than 10 PTO days annually.
  • Most (78%) do not use the maximum PTO allowed by their employer. The average worker took 15 paid days off last year despite half (49%) being allowed more than that by their employer.
  • The top barriers preventing workers from taking more time off are “pressure to always be available and responsive to demands” (31%) and “heavy workload” (30%).

Even when workers took time off, 60% reported struggling to fully disconnect from work. As such, 86% checked emails from their boss, and 56% took work-related calls during time off. Similarly, nearly half of the workers said they felt guilty about taking the time off in the first place. Specifically, Millennials and Generation Z are nervous about requesting PTO due to employer reactions and career implications.

Employer Takeaway – Despite more employers expanding their PTO policies, workplace culture, and workload pressures tend to dictate working Americans’ benefit usage. Furthermore, many workers still check their email or feel guilty during their time off, which can cause them not to recharge as intended. To combat these behaviors and the potential for burnout, employers can foster a company culture focused on taking PTO, not just the policy itself. 

Contact us today for more information.