Unlimited PTO has become a common perk among startups and SaaS companies. While on the surface, unlimited PTO sounds great, yet many companies (and employees) are discovering that it is less “unlimited PTO” and more like “never PTO.” In this blog post, we uncover how employees and managers can embrace unlimited PTO policies.

One of the main reasons why companies offer unlimited PTO is to avoid burnout. Engineering teams, in particular, are susceptible to burnout due to the high demands of their job. By offering unlimited PTO, companies hope that employees will take the time they need to recharge and come back refreshed and ready to work.

However, many companies are experiencing a spike in burnout, rather than a reduction. With unlimited PTO policies, many employees are hesitant to take any time off of work. They feel that they need to be available 24/seven and that any time spent away from work is time wasted.

If you’re a manager, there are a few things you can do to help your team navigate unlimited PTO.

  • Encourage your team to take advantage of the policy and take the well-deserved time off of work. Let them know that it’s okay to step away from work and recharge.
  • Create a culture of trust where employees feel comfortable coming to you with their concerns.
  • If you see hesitancy by the team to take time off, communicate about how you will be using PTO. Will you be taking more frequent short breaks or planning longer breaks at set intervals?
  • Offer incentives for taking time off, such as half-day Fridays or tacking on a day to a long weekend.
  • Be flexible with how and when your team takes their PTO days.

While unlimited PTO can be a great perk, it’s important to manage it properly to get the most out of it.

For managers who have staff leveraging your unlimited PTO policy, this is a great time to encourage other team members to cross-train. Leverage this time as an opportunity for employees to learn new skills and knowledge. This not only helps with employee development but also balances out the workload so that no one person is overloaded with work.

Worried about staffing and coverage? Create a system for tracking who is taking time off and when. This will help prevent gaps in the workflow and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to take a break.

If you’re an employee, there are also a few things you can do to make the most of your unlimited PTO policy.

  • Don’t be afraid to take PTO days. Your company offers this benefit to help you avoid burnout, so use it!
  • Plan ahead and communicate with your team. Let them know when you’ll be out of the office and how they can reach you if they need to.
  • Most importantly, do not feel guilty about taking PTO days. You’re not being lazy, you’re taking care of yourself!

Unlimited PTO is a great benefit that can help employees avoid burnout. However, it’s important for both managers and employees to navigate unlimited PTO to get the most out of it. By following the tips above, you can make unlimited PTO work for you!

Finally, unlimited PTO can be a way for employees to achieve a better work-life balance. If used properly, it can give employees the flexibility they need to manage their time outside of work. For example, employees can use unlimited PTO to take a longer lunch break to go for a walk or take a yoga class. They can also use it to leave early on Fridays to spend more time with family or friends.

By creating a system and culture that embraces unlimited PTO, companies can avoid burnout and help their employees achieve a better work-life balance.

What are some ways you have navigated unlimited PTO at your company? Unlimited PTO is one of the many perks offered by Lockstep.