How paid time off increases workplace productivity
May 21, 2014 at 9:11 AM
"Employee leave" or time-off policies vary from business to business, but the truth is that allotting your employees time-off accruals is not only good for their mental health, but it also can improve productivity within the workplace.
What the Studies Say
There has been a lot of research on this matter over the past decade. Job stress and anxiety is incredibly common even with more "low-key" occupations, and a large part of this is due to the average American employee taking only half of their earned vacation time each year, if that. And of course, a lot of workers don't even get paid time off. But according to a February 2014 study by Oxford Economics, people return to work feeling refreshed and recharged after taking paid time off, and many also feel more focused.
Nevertheless, you may be one of those who worry that granting their workers paid time off can be rather chaotic -- not just in terms of having one less employee (or more) present to handle the workload, but also in terms of keeping track of each employee's time-off accruals. Fortunately, studies also show that the workplace does not suffer significantly if the employee leave rotation is kept even and balanced out (in other words, a significant part of the workforce will not be absent at once). And as for tracking vacation time earnings, there's always paid time off software that managers can use to manage personnel records electronically and keep everything organized.
How Much 'Time' is Vacation Time?
So, just how much paid time off should be allotted? These time-off policies are up to the individual business, and in the United States, employers are actually not required to give their employees paid vacation time. But if you recognize the benefits of your staff taking some time off to go "recharge", you should know that two weeks has become the standard across the country, though some do offer more paid vacation time and "sick days". In many cases, employers require their staff to use at least some of this time so it doesn't accumulate or is wasted.
Many employers also recognize certain holidays -- like Christmas, New Year's, Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, etc. -- and close the office on these days, giving everyone (including themselves) time off.
The Bottom Line
People who spend every waking day working tend to be overstressed and less productive. This is true even for people who love their jobs. Paid time off makes the workplace better for everyone.
Staff Files has been helping small- and mid-sized businesses manage their employees' time-off accruals for over 10 years. Try out the free demo/trial edition of this personnel software to see how easy it can be to manage vacation, sick time, holiday time, personal time, PTO, or any other type of time off your company keeps track of.
Have questions about Staff Files? Call us at 1-800-874-8801 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.