Here at Array Digital we have a policy called open paid time off. What that means is that employees can take off as much time as they need. We don’t track the hours or days that they take off at all. There is a record of it but no one actually tracks it for any purpose. Everyone is free to take as much time as they need.
We implemented this for a couple of reasons. When we stopped billing by the hour we also stopped tracking the hours that we worked. Since we were no longer tracking hours worked it also made sense to stop tracking the hours that we didn’t work. Instead our work focused on client deliverables. We quickly put this new policy into place and learned a few things along the way.
First, just because we have open PTO doesn’t mean that people can come and go as they please. We still expect our employees to be working during core business hours. If you get your work done early, and you have some bandwidth, we expect that you will ask others if they need help with something since we work as a team.
Second, we implemented a leave request policy. When an employee wants to take time off they must fill out the leave request form which creates a task in our online task manager for their supervisor to review and approve it. Once it’s approved it is put into the company calendar and it gets sent to Slack so everyone is aware that person is off.
Other business owners have said they would never implement something like open PTO because they are afraid their employees would abuse it. But, that has not been the case for us. On the contrary, when employees know they can take time off it helps them work more efficiently.