J. Kent's Blog - Articles for Employers and Job Seekers

Employees Using Their Paid Time Off Benefits Everyone

Posted by: Emma Berdanier on July 8th, 2019

A growing trend shows employees are taking fewer and fewer vacation days, with many not using the allocated paid time off (PTO) their employers offer them. While this may not seem like a problem, research shows that not taking time off leads to a decrease in productivity, efficiency, and the amount of work completed.

Why Employees Aren’t Using Their PTO

Recent surveys indicate that workers aren’t taking their allotted vacation time off because they’re worried their manager won’t approve their vacation time when they present it to them or they’re worried they’ll face an overwhelming workload when they return from vacation and go back to work. Some surveys even suggest that employees fear that if they take time off they might not be in as good a place to receive a promotion or even retain their job.

It appears in these surveys that the culprit of workers not taking time off is a work culture that discourages time off, to the extent that these employees believe that taking the time off they’re guaranteed in their employee agreement might hurt them in their future at that company.

Reasons to Encourage Your Employees to Use Their PTO

Studies show that employees who take time off tend to perform better and get more work done than employees who don’t. These employees also tend to have a higher rate of retention at their jobs and tend to have both increased productivity and creativity than those employees who do not take their allotted vacation days.

An SHRM survey from 2013 surveyed various HR professionals about how they viewed different issues within employees not taking their allotted vacation days. Some of the most revealing results were:


To encourage your employees to take time off, you must establish a culture where vacation time is not seen as a perk, but as a necessity for well-being. Some potential ways to accomplish this are to: