The Vacation Problem

As it is now August, we are officially in the depths of summer.
Yet many employees are rescheduling or all together canceling their vacation
plans; and with the state of Pennsylvania currently recommending not traveling
to 19 other states due to high numbers of COVID cases, it is no
wonder fewer people are traveling. 

An initially unforeseen problem of the lockdown is how to handle
the balances of paid time off (PTO). A recent survey found that
with all of the stay-at-home orders, over one-third of those surveyed said they
are taking fewer days off than last summer. Not only is this due to the
aforementioned risks of travel, but many individuals are concerned about job
security. Yet of these same respondents 25% said their managers were
encouraging them to take time off.

Companies that have traditionally flexible policies for handling
PTO accrual, are going to be stress-tested and may find they are not as
flexible as they think. The predicted issue is that as offices begin to open,
companies will want to see “all hands on deck”, and will try to make up for
lost sales numbers from earlier in the year…but all of the employees will be
taking their time off. Companies who have “use it or lost it” policies on vacation,
will likely half to alter them, to avoid this exact problem. Any companies who
do not allow for rollover will see many employees taking this time at year-end,
during the winter holidays, Unsurprisingly, an April survey  found that
one-third of the over 800 respondents were planning to adjust their vacation
policies this year.

Some companies are going even further and closing shop entirely
and putting the entire organization on vacation. While this is not viable for
all, encouraging employees to take time off and recharge is great for morale
and productivity. Even a “staycation”, will allow employees to come back
feeling refreshed. We here at Converge have Summer Fridays, where we end the
workweek on Friday at 2 pm in the summer, to allow our team to get a jump start
on their weekend. Any steps a company can take to help employees feel like they
are not stuck in the movie “Groundhog Day”, as working from home often can,
will boost productivity.

And perhaps even once returning from your own stay-cation, you
will have figured out how to handle your companies PTO accrual issue. If not,
reach out to one of our Consultants. 

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