Using your Paid Time Off

I’ve noticed that a lot of young professionals rarely use their Paid Time Off (or PTO) that’s owed to them. Well, that’s not good.

PTO is a rising trend when it comes to work leave policy. When our parents were coming up in the workforce, more than likely, they had a collection of specific leave to choose from, such as vacation days, sick days and personal leave. Now, we have PTO, which is basically all of those combined.

While showing up for work everyday is an action that’s often praised, the problem with never taking a day off is that it can negatively impact the way you live and work. Your productivity can decrease. Your family may be impacted. And even worse, lack of rest/vacation can take a huge toll on your physical and mental health.

According to Huffington Post, Spain and Germany enjoy the most days off, both offering 34 days of paid leave each year. Italy and France guarantee 31 days of paid vacation, and Belgium requires 30. The U.S. is the only nation among advanced economies that does not legally guarantee paid leave. While 77% of private-sector companies here offer employees some paid vacation (about 21 days on average), that still leaves nearly 1 in 4 Americans without any guaranteed paid time off from work. All this to say, PTO is quite important to living a happy and productive life, both personally and professionally.

If you haven’t taken any PTO this year, then you’re way past due. Take a trip to a different city. Give yourself a few mental health days. Take a staycation at a nice hotel downtown. Do whatever you need to do to break up the monotony in your life called work. And watch how renewed your mind is once you return to your job.

Something to remember:

“Even though providing paid time off benefits is voluntary for employers, if yours has ‘promised’ PTO to employees of your classification per policy, then your employee rights entitle you to take it, if you follow the rules.” –  Employeeissues.com

Make sure to review your company’s PTO policy to be sure that you’re following the correct PTO regulations. In the meantime, have fun for a change!

What are some of your upcoming vacation plans? I’ll be attending a music festival next month!

Thanks for reading!

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