Unlimited Time Off. Is it unlimited, really?
I personally am not a fan of Unlimited PTO. On occasions where I’ve had this “benefit”, here’s a few reasons why I didn’t particularly enjoy it.
- I didn’t quite understand what it meant to begin with. “Unlimited” tells me I could take every day of every (paid) week off but surely, that’s not it. If the rationale is *use it within reason*, then why call it “unlimited” to begin with?
- I always felt like I was borrowing time off, and hardly ever felt like I earned it. There was a guilt feeling always along the lines of: “every else in the team is working today, are you sure you want to take of?”.
- Even though it was meant to not be tracked so no one knew how long anyone in the team actually took off, I was never convinced. It felt like, someone was watching/tracking somewhere (even if they weren’t).
- I felt the additional burden of understanding what that particular company’s notion of acceptable time off was so I could take only as many days as everyone else (to be fair to my teammates, of course). And I kept thinking, why should how long someone else took be my concern? But, it was. It felt like it had to be.
- And I could go on!
Here’s what I would prefer (again, I realize it’s very personal):
- Give me 4 weeks off per year. I’ll use it the way it works best for me (and of course, respecting your timelines, deadlines and such — that’s a given).
- Let me use it one day at a time, or all 4 weeks at once (folks whose families live 10s of 1000s of miles away may relate to this!).
- That’s it. That simple.
What is your preferred PTO policy? (Comment away!)
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