Small Business Brief


Why a Paid Time Off Policy is So Important for Employees

Around 80% of employees in today’s private industry workforce are receiving paid time off in addition to regularly scheduled days off. Although it’s not something that everybody offers, having a paid time off policy is crucial to employee performance and development.

If paid time off feels like an unnecessary expense, you may want to reconsider that opinion. In fact, a paid time off policy can actually benefit your business in more ways than one.

Read on to learn more about why your team should be taking paid time off.

What Is PTO?

PTO, or paid time off, is typically a set number of days that you allow your employees to take off within a calendar year. When they take these days, you still pay them for their regular hours as if they were at work.

A paid time off policy is important for any business to have. Without it, your employees may be coming into work when they shouldn’t be. Or you could even lose them altogether due to stress and overexertion.

Benefits of a Paid Time Off Policy for Employee Health

Before we review the benefits of paid time off policy further, here’s one thing to keep in mind: your employees are only human. It can be easy to lose sight of this as you’re powering through business, but it’s still something to keep in mind.

As human beings with emotions and personal lives, as well as limited strength and stamina, your employees need to take time to themselves once in a while. It’s important to recognize that they have a life outside of your business. You will be a better boss if you’re empathetic and accommodating to this.

Paid time off essentially encourages your employees to take time for themselves, without worrying about lost wages. Although it may seem like a heavy upfront cost to your productivity as well as your business in general, the long-term benefits are worth the investment.

Here are some of the top benefits of a paid time off policy for your employees:

Benefit #1: Mental Reset

As a boss, you probably know better than anyone else that all work and no play can take a serious toll on your mental state. You’ve probably had to take some time in the past to reset your brain before returning to the task at hand.

Your employees are just like you: even if they don’t act like it, they need a break every once in a while, too. We’re talking about more than just weekends and regular days off here, as those often aren’t enough in the long run. 

If you allow your employees to take paid time off, they’ll come back refreshed and ready to take on a new perspective. You may even find that they start solving problems or finishing projects that they were previously stuck on. Taking a break can make all the difference there.

Benefit #2: Improved Productivity

After your employees take a leave of paid time off, they are likely to return more productive than ever before. That’s because the period of rest will refresh their mind and body, leaving them more capable of achieving stellar job performance. In the end, it will help benefit you by propelling your business forward.

Benefit #3: Achieve the Right Work/Life Balance

One of the main reasons employees become dissatisfied with their job is a lack of balance between their work and their personal lives. If they feel like their job is taking over their whole life, they can become depressed, burnt out, or frustrated.

If your employees are not getting the appropriate work/life balance, you could eventually lose them. A paid time off policy will help you retain good employees and keep them happy, too.

Benefit #4: Improved Focus

It’s no secret that being tired or overworked can lead to a number of distractions in the workplace. Distracted employees can cause accidents, become injured, or impede the productivity of your business.

By allowing paid time off, you’re giving your employees the right tools to stay focused on the task at hand. Once they return from their breaks, they’ll be more capable than ever.

Benefit #5: Improved Mood

You’ve probably dealt with some employees that have had bad attitudes in the past. Not only is this frustrating for you, but it can create a ripple effect of negativity in the workplace.

Allowing paid time off will keep your employees happier, which will save you a lot of headaches and help your business run smoothly. Although there will always be bad apples out there, at least you’ll be doing what you can to keep the good ones in a positive mood.

Benefit #6: No Sick Employees at Work

If your employees are worried about losing money when they take a day off, they could come in when they’re sick. Not only will this leave them more vulnerable and less productive, but it could also get your entire staff sick too.

Consequences of Overworking Your Employees

Overexerting your employees can come with some serious consequences, according to this law firm. In fact, it can lead to a number of injuries that could leave you with a lawsuit on your hand.

These are just a few injuries your employees can sustain while they’re on the job. If they injure themselves at work, then you will be liable for the resulting medical costs as well as lost wages.

Here are a few common injuries employees are more vulnerable to if they’re being overworked:

  • Muscle strains, which can lead to mandatory time off to heal the muscle in addition to compensation for lost wages
  • Broken bones, which often lead to some serious time off and medical costs that you will be responsible for.
  • Sprains, which are less serious than broken bones, but can still cost you employee time and compensation for medical costs.

While these types of injuries are always a possibility, they are much more likely to occur if your employees are tired, overexerted, or overworked. By keeping a paid time off policy in place, you’ll minimize the risk of overexerting your employees.

Final Thoughts

Although it may seem like a burden to your business at first, having a paid time off policy can offer a number of benefits to your bottom line. Now that you know what these policies can bring to your business, start taking those next steps today.

Check out our other posts for more small business advice.