Unlimited PTO (Flexible Time-Off) is great for proactive, empowered workers, not so much for passive employees

The unlimited PTO policy — also referred to as Flexible Time Off — has gone from an edge perk that technology companies used to stay competitive when wooing talent to their organizations to being adopted outside of that industry.

On the surface, Unlimited PTO presents the company as progressive and at the least, the appearance that they care about work-life balance.

Maybe the company is progressive and genuinely care about their employees’ well-being, but being forward-thinking and truly caring about your workforce requires more than offering a perk to make it seem so.

The cons of an Unlimited PTO policy

Whether the consequences of unlimited time off are intended or not, we have to understand and respect that those problems can arise. And that is especially true if the company’s goal is employee happiness.

Some believe that an Unlimited PTO policy is actually chipping away at your hard-earned right to paid time off.

In other words, many workers feel less empowered to take PTO when they feel as if they haven’t “earned” those hours. No longer can they look into their PTO balance, see that they have 14 hours of PTO leftover that will expire at the end of the month. That triggers the decision to take a quick long weekend to Vegas to play free no download slots and enjoy some time off.

That feeling of needing to “earn” your paid time off is due to the built-in power structure that capitalism instills in us when we enter the workforce, but that’s a topic for another time.

On top of that feeling of losing power over your own “free time,” studies have shown that employees tend to take less vacation time under an Unlimited PTO policy.

A limitless PTO policy also means that Human Resources no longer has to track or police PTO hours and the company no longer has to pay out thousands of dollars from that accrued paid time off at the end of the year or when the employee decides to leave the company.

What do workers actually say about Unlimited PTO?

Also known as an Open Vacation policy, it all comes down to how the workers and employees adapt to the new program.

In order we cover all angles, we actually surveyed and interviewed workers and participated in forums on the topic. These workers all worked for companies that went from a traditional accrual system for time off to an Unlimited PTO policy and here’s how some of them responded.

Some weren’t sure how the new system would translate or didn’t really understand that “Unlimited” actually means “unlimited:”

So how will it work with those that have earned 5 weeks a year? Should we continue to take 5 weeks a year? What if our managers decline to let us take that amount?

So PTO is now NEED based, so if I need only 2 weeks I lost 3 weeks of my PTO benefits.

Others wanted a choice to pick between the new and old policy.

Can we opt out of the Flexible Time Off? I am not a fan. I have been here over 10 years and like my 5 week a year entitlement. With Flexable Vacation plans, it all up to the manager or the workload of the team and could not be applied equally.

While many were concerned how the policy would be applied company-wide, specific managers, workload, etc.

How are you going to ensure that PTO allowances are applied fairly? Will there be guidelines for managers to allow for min and max.? I have seen from other companies some people take 5-6 weeks and others due to workload can only take 2 weeks. Some managers are more liberal and others are not. Having worked at my company for over a decade, I like to know I have earned PTO.

And there are some edge cases that make Unlimited PTO a problem. Say for example, imagine that you planned out a vacation and then were laid off – zero payout for that planned vacation.

How it gets administered matters, my friend at another tech company had a manager that implemented and unspoken policy of two to three weeks of vacation max in one year.

Concerns of how the policy would be administered and potentially-abused (by managers) was a common concern that popped up in our conversations and interviews.

Yeah, this is going to get abused like crazy. I already know a few managers who aggressively discourage PTO even when they are required to let their people take it. Now that it’s optional I can only imagine the creative reasons they will come up with to deny it. Will be interesting to see what impacts this has on attrition long term.

The key is to change your mindset; own your time off

Personally, I’ve never had a problem with Unlimited PTO because I never had an issue taking vacation whenever I wanted to. I worked. The company profits off me. I deserved as much time off as I could get. If I wanted to take a three week trip to Thailand or spent my time off playing free casino machines like sun and moon slots, Candy Crush or binge 56 hours of Netflix, I never flinch to request that time off. Ever.

Nor should you. This is about flipping a small part of the power structure (that’s been developed in American workplaces) on it’s head. That said, I understand that not everyone is down to fight that battle nor want to rock the boat, so getting out of that old capitalist mindset is difficult.

While I appreciate the spirit and idea that goes into Unlimited PTO Policy, I understand that people don’t take to change and especially ones that force them to be more proactive than passive.

So unless the new FTO policy comes with a minimum amount of PTO, it seems subject to causing a reduction, not increase, in PTO taken. At least in the mid term as workers get used to how to manage that additional freedom.

We’ll leave you with one of respondent’s replies to a fellow workers complaints about the new unlimited system.

What I’m getting at is the main opposition to this model is based on the idea that the previous model somehow protected you. If you’re truly worried about being able to take your time off, challenge yourself to take a minimum amount of PTO. If your manager rejects your requests without good reason and/or doesn’t approve your PTO request multiple times, that’s a direct violation of our corporate culture guidelines and should be brought up with a higher authority.

 

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NASCAR bans Dixie flags; joins Mitt Romney, NFL on the right side of history

This year has been something else and we’re only six months in. Though many can’t wait for the year to be over with, there’s a contingent of people — myself included — that believes there’s a lot of great change coming with all the challenges.

Regarding the protests and calls for social and racial justice over the last few weeks, we’re already seeing movement on many of the demands.

Black Lives Matter Changing Pop Culture

Not only have the world witnessed stunning global protests, but we’ve seen public opinion skyrocket in support of Black Lives Matter. In the past week, we’ve seen hundreds of corporations donate hundred of millions of dollars to several causes, we’ve seen the NFL do an about face, Mitt Romney marching in a “Black Lives Matter” protest and now NASCAR has released a statement on removing the presence of the the Confederate Flag at their events:

“The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry. Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”

Okay, that’s not exactly supporting Black Lives Matter and racial justice, but considering how conservative NASCAR is, this is a huge step in the right direction. That simple action is very much worth mentioning and We’re sure the move will improve the reputation of professional race car racing and NASCAR betting online will most certainly increase. Banning the “Dixie” flag might not be inclusion, but it’s a step to opening the sport to others that previously associated it with racism.

That’s even if driver after driver quits. Even if fans decide to never attend another event. It’s the right thing to do and a couple days in, most drivers are supporting the move

NASCAR drivers, properties come out in support

Even with a few drivers quitting and fans being turned off. The feeling is that NASCAR won’t be damaged by the move. That’s if we look at some of the sport’s biggest personalities and racetracks coming out in support of the ban.

Bubba Wallace — NASCAR’s only black full-time driver — applauded the decision, telling Good Morning America on Thursday morning that now is “the most crucial time” to “come together and really try to be more inclusive.”

Racing legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. supported the move, saying: “It does nothing for anybody to be there flying, so I don’t see any reason,” the star driver said at the time. “It belongs in the history books and that’s about it.”

The Nashville Superspeedway, the location of next year’s NASCAR Cup Series race, tweeted in support of the ban.

We’ll continue updating this post as more drivers or speedways come out with statements.

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Why taking a break from social media can improve your mental health

Social media is the epitome of a double-edged sword. It can keep you in the loop with current events, local events, or the funniest memes life has to offer. It is a way to network with new people and connect with them. Continue reading “Why taking a break from social media can improve your mental health”

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Here’s the best ways to lose weight on the ‘Bride Diet’

How to Lose Weight on the Bride Diet

Brides from all over the country certainly wouldn’t mind dropping a few pounds or more before their big day. Some of you may be scrolling through page after page of wedding dresses on Azazie just knowing they aren’t going to fit to your satisfaction. Continue reading “Here’s the best ways to lose weight on the ‘Bride Diet’”

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Misconceptions on illegal immigration: How to become a permanent resident via the U.S. immigration system

The following was posted on Facebook by Eric Pavri back in February 2018. We’re reposting it because Pavri is an immigration lawyer describing the steps and difficulties of becoming a legal U.S. citizen, and well, because we think it’s a valuable read for all Americans to full understand. Especially in this day and age where immigration is divisive hot-button topic. Continue reading “Misconceptions on illegal immigration: How to become a permanent resident via the U.S. immigration system”

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Who is Alek Minassian – the suspect that drove a Ryder truck into pedestrians in Toronto?

Who is Alek Minassian, the alleged suspect of purposely driving a white Ryder van into pedestrians in downtown Toronto. The horrific attack happened today at approximately 1:30 PM at the cross streets of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue East in-between the neighborhoods Newtonbrook and Willowdale in Toronto’s North York district. Continue reading “Who is Alek Minassian – the suspect that drove a Ryder truck into pedestrians in Toronto?”

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American Origins: 5 little known facts about the United States

The good ol’ US of A. One of the world’s youngest nations and certainly its youngest superpower, America has a rich and muddled history nonetheless. From turkey birds to Viking visitors, we’ve gathered up five of the weirdest facts around, all based on the nation’s humble origins. 

1. Land Ho! The First Tourists 

You know how it goes. Way back when in the late 15th Century an adventurous fellow by the name of Chris Columbus sailed out – out towards the west, towards danger, towards unknowing. He hoped to chart a new route to the Orient. Instead, after ten weeks at sea, he found himself land ho on the beaches of America. Commonly touted as the continent’s ‘discoverer,’ he was, in fact, quite late to the party. Native societies had been roaming the land for generations and, as new evidence now shows, they had already been partial to visitors.

From the Vikings, believe it not; Danes had been sailing back and forth across the Atlantic for centuries. Long before Christopher C. was even born, they braved the open ocean on their infamous longboats and stepped their stompy feet on land that would one day become part of the United States. 

2. Taxes? No Thanks

It was taxes that angered the colonies; it was taxes that lit the spark of revolution. Understandably, then, there was a certain hesitation when it came to placing heavy tolls on citizens by the time the founding fathers came to power. Still, there were bills to be paid and a fledgeling nation was in need of repairs. Cue lotteries. That’s right, lotteries. The head honchos themselves were in fact known to organise en-masse games of chance for purposes both personal and governmental. Modern gaming brand Lottoland notes that the game involved guessing the number of Bibles sold in New York. The history of organized lotteries is indeed wild and monumental, and it even has a place in the origins of America.   

3. Imports and Horses

Horses! European colonists and immigrants to the Americas introduced plenty of things during the settling of this newfound land, from crops and gunpowder to the written word – and that extensive list just so happens to include the thoroughbred horse. Given the Native American stereotype, you might think these mighty steeds had been local mounts since time gone by but they were in fact only introduced quite recently. The USA wouldn’t have been the same its without horses – to ride into battle, to pull cargo, to call upon friends.

4. The Turkey Bird

A bald eagle soars – America’s national bird appears in all its regal glory. It wasn’t always so, however. During the establishment of the nation, several creatures found themselves in contention for the top spot upon the flag, up to and including the lowly turkey. Believe it or not, Ben Franklin himself argued in support of this latter mascot, claiming the eagle was ‘a bird of bad moral character,’ on account of its scavenging habits. The turkey, on the other hand, was apparently ‘a bird of courage.’

5. Denture Donations 

Ever heard of George Washington’s wooden teeth? Well, turns out they weren’t so wooden, after all. Rather than carve up a pair of dentures, he purchased his canines and molars from the very slaves who served under him. Or rather, that he owned. History makes heroes look a whole lot less noble when placed under the microscope, huh?  

That’s it for this list, but there’s plenty more out there to discover. Whether it’s America’s history, the lotteries or the life and death cycle of a turkey bird, there’s always more to learn. 

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The Liu Sha Bao (流沙包), a.k.a. the molten lava egg custard bun, is your new favorite dim sum item

Today, we’re writing something we should have written months, if not years, ago; it’s a dedication to the heavenly dim sum item called Liu Sha Bao (流沙包) also known by one of its English names: the molten lava egg custard bun. Continue reading “The Liu Sha Bao (流沙包), a.k.a. the molten lava egg custard bun, is your new favorite dim sum item”

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Jeopardy! Records: Austin Rogers’ record run for Jeopardy wins and most money

The quirky, funky bartender from New York City was at it again last night, winning his eleventh consecutive game and primed to surpass the $400,000 total winnings milestone. Continue reading “Jeopardy! Records: Austin Rogers’ record run for Jeopardy wins and most money”

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Last night, Austin Rogers surpassed $300,000 on Jeopardy (and revealed whether he’s gay)

Austin Rogers, the internet darling of Jeopardy won his eighth straight game, surpassing $300,000 in total winnings, and clarifies who is partner was.  Continue reading “Last night, Austin Rogers surpassed $300,000 on Jeopardy (and revealed whether he’s gay)”

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The 34 times Jeopardy players have won the most money in one day

With players like James Holzhauer and Austin Rogers lighting up the Jeopardy! scoreboard with their gutty wages and record-setting single-day winnings, we were curious about the which contestants have took home the most money in one day of the popular trivia game show. Continue reading “The 34 times Jeopardy players have won the most money in one day”

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Austin Rogers, the bearded bartender from New York City, is Jeopardy’s next super champion

Austin Rogers isn’t just winning on Jeopardy!, he’s doing it in style; his own wacky, goofy style. And the people love it. And he’s one of the show’s all-time winners. Continue reading “Austin Rogers, the bearded bartender from New York City, is Jeopardy’s next super champion”

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Who is Anthony Pompliano? 10 fast facts about ‘disgruntled’ former Snapchat employee

Anthony Pompliano filed that Snap lawsuit you’ve been reading about, you know the one where it alleges that  CEO Evan Spigel said that Snapchat was for “rich people” and that it didn’t want to expand to “poor countries like India and Spain.” Continue reading “Who is Anthony Pompliano? 10 fast facts about ‘disgruntled’ former Snapchat employee”

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Here’s 75+ photos of Tom Holland shirtless and in his Spider Man costume

Tom Holland’s name has been around for some time now. As one of the handful of actors that played Billy Elliot in the Musical, he started out his acting career with a physical and challenging role. Continue reading “Here’s 75+ photos of Tom Holland shirtless and in his Spider Man costume”

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Here’s why a username is so important on dating site

Online dating has gained a strong foothold in our everyday life, and it’s really hard to imagine what it was like back then when no Internet and no single dating site existed.

Surely, our grandfathers and grandmothers would say that Continue reading “Here’s why a username is so important on dating site”

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Who is Lisa Schlitt? The “delightful” champ has multiple Jeopardy wins

Lisa Schlitt is the latest Jeopardy phenomenon to win consecutive games, but where does her winnings land her all time? Continue reading “Who is Lisa Schlitt? The “delightful” champ has multiple Jeopardy wins”

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James Holzhauer soars up the Jeopardy ranks, passes Arthur Chu in total consecutive wins

Another Jeopardy contestant is making a name for themselves. As their winnings grow, so do the amount of consecutive wins. Here’s a look at the players that have the longest winning streaks in the history of Jeopardy. Continue reading “James Holzhauer soars up the Jeopardy ranks, passes Arthur Chu in total consecutive wins”

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12 historically Republican newspapers not endorsing Donald Trump in 2016

On September 24th 2016, The New York Times Editorial Board endorsed Hillary Clinton — no surprise there at all. Snoresville, right? Continue reading “12 historically Republican newspapers not endorsing Donald Trump in 2016”

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Brazil losing out on “gold” even before the Olympic medal ceremonies

Earlier this year, in an attempt to allow legal gambling during the summer Olympics, the Brazilian government tried pushing through legislation that would allow for wagering on the international sporting event. Continue reading “Brazil losing out on “gold” even before the Olympic medal ceremonies”

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Does dim sum have MSG? Yes, but how much MSG varies by dish

Let’s just start out by saying that it’s not easy to get dim sum without MSG… and some might argue that you aren’t truly eating dim sum if it doesn’t have some monosodium glutamate in it. Continue reading “Does dim sum have MSG? Yes, but how much MSG varies by dish”

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All-Time Jeopardy Winners: James Holzhauer passes Arthur Chu, Julia Collins, targets Ken Jennings [Updated]

Another week, another modern Jeopardy champion is making headlines and setting records. The 2010s has seen a Jeopardy resurgence in relevance; boasting multiple super champs that have made big waves in both winnings and unusual personalities. Continue reading “All-Time Jeopardy Winners: James Holzhauer passes Arthur Chu, Julia Collins, targets Ken Jennings [Updated]”

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The “China: Through the Looking Glass” exhibit sets record numbers at The Met

The Met’s recent exhibition “China: Through the Looking Glass” was a blockbuster that no one expected — the show broke several records and goes down in history as one of the most-visited ever at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Continue reading “The “China: Through the Looking Glass” exhibit sets record numbers at The Met”

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The A, B, C and Ds of ALPHABET CITY (the “Not East Village” song”)

Two years ago when I first moved to New York, Avenues A, B, C and D were talked about as if they were apart of the East Village. And I happily went along not knowing better. Continue reading “The A, B, C and Ds of ALPHABET CITY (the “Not East Village” song”)”

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