- Employees made far fewer requests for paid time off (PTO) this spring compared to the same time last year, according to data collected through the time and attendance tool offered by HR platform Namely and released in June.
- While requests made in January and February mirrored those made the year prior, Namely said, PTO requests began to fall off in March. The trend continued into April.
- "With travel restrictions in place, it might seem counterintuitive to take time off; however, taking a break from work can be restorative," Namely CEO Larry Dunivan said in a press release. "Giving managers visibility into schedules in advance and communicating the ground rules to everyone ensures employees can leverage their PTO benefits."
Employers will need to anticipate several ripple effects caused by the reduction in employee requests for PTO, sources previously told HR Dive.
First, employers will need to consider how leave policies treat accrual of leave time. Companies with use-it-or-lose-it rules, for instance, may see hordes of employees applying for PTO at the end of the year, as the pandemic canceled many spring and summer vacations, Rich Fuerstenberg, senior partner at HR consulting firm Mercer, previously told HR Dive. Employers may opt to change PTO rollover rules, then, and extend the window in which workers can use their vacation days.
Of course, employers can encourage employees to take the time off, too, even if they're unable to jet off to distant lands. "Staycations" or other pandemic-friendly getaways can help workers refresh and return to work more engaged and productive, sources have said.