- This holiday season, employees say they plan to take less PTO than in previous years and they’re also less likely to be traveling far, according to survey results published by isolved Nov. 9.
- Seventy percent of full-time employees surveyed said they do not intend to travel out of state, and 38% plan to take less PTO than in previous holiday seasons.
- In terms of what employees value at this time, 56% of full-time employees surveyed said employee experience is more important to them going forward than it was before and 40% ranked company culture higher than they did before.
PTO use seemed to be on the decline due to COVID-19, as data collected by Namely from March through May indicated. It appears this trend is expected to continue through the holidays and perhaps until pandemic-related shutdowns end.
Even before the coronavirus outbreak, work-life balance presented a challenge for employees as well as employers that wanted to promote it. More than half of respondents to a Neuvana survey said they felt stressed when disconnected from work and 61% said they felt pressured to respond to work messages at all hours. Eighty-two percent said they'd been contacted by a colleague about a work matter on a personal channel while off the clock.
"That's an issue that gets compounded when employers start to look forward to the second part of the year," Rich Fuerstenberg, senior partner at HR consulting firm Mercer, previously told HR Dive. "You have employers saying that all hands are on deck, and that we need to make up for sales lost earlier in the year, but employees saying they have all this paid time off." He warned back in July that employers may be especially worried about deferred time off during the holiday season.
The situation around PTO, as well as flexibility, inclusiveness and well-being, have necessitated significant changes to HR policy, sources previously told HR Dive. A Willis Towers Watson survey found that a third of companies are changing PTO policies, for example. Managers are also making greater efforts to encourage team members to use PTO, an act which experts are recommending for HR and leadership, especially those who may be in companies where policies are not changing.
"This pandemic has forced organizations to be more creative and innovative in the way they serve their clients and do their work," Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half, said. "Actually getting some time away to reset will offer the even greater benefit of boosting creativity and helping with overall productivity and happiness."