Breaking the Cycle: How to Establish a Healthy PTO Culture

May 2, 20239:50 am5707 views

A survey stated that 52% of workers who work on vacation think about quitting. Prevent it with a healthy PTO culture.

As remote work becomes a permanent demand in job seeking, it lessens the distinction between working and resting. Workation, a combination of work and vacation, also blurs the line between doing your full-time job remotely from hotels or beach villas.

However, there is a difference between workation and working during vacation. Workation means you still work during your vacation. It’s just that you don’t sit in your usual cubicle.In contrast, if you consider doing your report on a holiday or on a day off, you will have a completely different experience. It can be a problem.

Why Do People Still Work on PTO?

A Glassdoor poll found that 54% of professionals don’t believe they can be completely away from their work while on Paid Time-Off (PTO). The article goes on to explain that older professionals aged 45 and above have difficulties staying away.

Moreover, Study Finds explained a OnePoll survey regarding the same problem. It’s stated that 46% of workers choose a longer trip that involves remote work, while 26% choose a shorter trip without work. Apparently, most workers in this survey consider working remotely from a vacation destination as a way to extend their trip.

There are various reasons for this decision. Workation culture and remote work policies have influenced how workers view off-day work today. Some employees are influenced by their work culture, Glassdoor stated. Others have insufficient paid time off. An anonymous manager stated that they needed to check their emails when on PTO to not be overwhelmed when they got back.

Shortcomings of Working on PTO

The report author and Glassdoor associate economist, Richard Johnson, told CNBC that employers must not encourage this inability to fully enjoy PTO. He said it can affect employee retention because prioritizing employees’ well-being is not only a competitive recruiting perk but also a vital part of preventing burnout in the workforce.

In a survey conducted by FastCompany, workers who work on vacation are much more likely to consider quitting, even those who do so voluntarily. 52% of workers think of quitting and one-third actually do so. This might be in line with HBR findings regarding intrinsic working motivation. It’s found that people enjoy their work less when they work during leisure time.This phenomenon is unsurprising because humans inherently need downtime to function properly. Scientific American stated that resting your brain replenishes its stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, thus crucial to attaining maximum performance.

Grow a Healthy PTO Culture

Company leaders should encourage employees to rest. Setting up a healthy PTO culture can help you and your employees. This way, nobody will feel guilty when they completely disconnect from the office while on vacation.

However, when you plan to take some time off, it’s advisable to be clear about how long you’ll be away. Get things done before turning off your working devices. There was also a mention in the same FastCompany article that some leaders may designate colleagues to do the work you left behind.

Sometimes it’s tempting to check your inbox and see what’s happening, but you must resist it. A VP at Bumble, Priti Joshi, told CNBC that she has a vacation accountability buddy to make the most of her time off. It’s to remind her that taking a break away from the office is very beneficial for her mental health.

Final thoughts

The guilt of knowing your colleagues work while you have fun is understandable. However, if you have a cold, it’s natural to treat it with cold medicine to recover. Getting away from work is the same thing. Instead of using your brain to work all the time, reward yourself with one or two to relax. A healthy PTO culture will help you return to work refreshed.

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