The Pros and Cons of Unlimited Paid Time Off

Unlimited PTO

Unlimited Paid Time Off, while it may sound like the working title of an old Aerosmith album, it’s actually something that many companies are offering to their employees. Unlimited PTO basically means an employee’s sick days, vacation time, and other compensated non-work days are all rolled into a single discretionary plan. It’s a good deal for workers who need flexibility – which today’s increasingly mobile workforce does. But it also offers some meaningful benefits to employers.

If you’re feeling incredulous, consider the fact that General Electric, Grant Thornton, Netflix, Grubhub, LinkedIn, Virgin, and Hubspot all offer Unlimited PTO to their employees – and those are just a few of the big names. Here are the Pros and Cons of Unlimited Paid Time Off (UPTO).


Fight Against Burnout 

These vacation policies enable workers to schedule in briefer-than-usual trips, that have been traditionally been more difficult under more traditional policies. This makes it possible for employees to schedule a brief break when they need it – rather than just waiting for the same time each year. Experts say it could be an important tool in the fight against burnout.

Flexibility and Trust

Today’s worker is more independent. This is due to the availability of computing tech, as well as the re-branding crunch that came out of the 2008 recession. Today’s workforce can do more for less, and but they require flexibility and trust to operate at peak levels. UPTO is a step in that direction.

It’s a Powerful Recruiting Tool

By now it’s clear that Unlimited Paid Time Off isn’t exactly unlimited – it’s just structured differently. But it does offer workers more freedom than they probably expect, or are accustomed to. Many recruits are attracted to the idea – and companies that adopt early will have an edge when it comes to scooping up new talent.


UPTO Can Be Tough to Implement 

One significant drawback is, you have to make sure your whole workforce doesn’t go to the Bahamas all at once. This means if person X takes PTO tomorrow, person Y has to wait. These restrictions can be hard to handle (and schedule) from a managerial standpoint. There are plenty of tools on the market to help managers organize and approve vacation time effectively including Humanity and Kin.

Employees Might Feel Anxious About it

Many risk-averse people in today’s economy feel certain that someone will replace them as soon as they leave their post. It may sound like a plus for employers – but it leads to burnout and turnover.

UPTO Doesn’t Work in Every Position

Workers who are paid by the hour, call center employees, and others simply can’t use UPTO as readily as others. The model is still best suited for creative workers- and it stands to reason- since the idea was born in Silicon Valley.

Post By Ashley Salvador