Why Time Off Is the One Perk Every Employee Can’t Live Without

by Chris Rhatigan on Sep 1, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Employee perks

REI gives employees two days off a year called Yay Days to let them follow their passion. The World Wildlife Federation gives employees every other Friday off and coined it Panda Fridays. With work-life balance an increasing concern among employees, more employers are offering them that most valuable of resources — time.

Unlike perks that are supposed to be fun — think an office beer garden and foosball tables — everyone will be interested in more time off. This allows employees to tailor the perk to their interests, whether they want to climb a mountain or sit on the couch and watch Hulu. Rather than paying lip service to the idea of flexibility, your company can demonstrate that it practices what it preaches.


Attracting and Retaining Established Candidates

The employees who will most be interested in time off are those with serious life responsibilities — a family and a mortgage. These more experienced folks will see this as a great perk.

Ryan Howard, CEO of Practice Fusion, wrote in Entrepreneur that he finds dramatically more productive employees (what he calls 5x’ers) are often at this stage in life. These employees don’t need to work as many hours as an average employee. Giving them time off won’t hurt productivity at all. Howard enacted a radical policy to support this idea, allowing workers to take every Friday off.


Work-Life Balance

You hear this term all the time, but how many companies actually embrace it? Providing time off on a consistent (or even occasional) basis will set you apart from the competition.

In fact, one in three Americans say that, despite all the talk, maintaining a work-life balance now is harder than it’s ever been, according to an Ernst & Young study. The introduction of 24-7 connected availability, from email to Slack to smartphones, has made it easier than ever for employers to expect that employees will always be around.

maintaining work-life balance 

Fighting Workaholic Culture

But the problem isn’t just with employers. Employees who want to move up the ladder like to show how they’re “always on.” The workaholic culture is invasive. A Center for Economic Policy and Policy Research study found that out of 21 developed countries, the United States. was the only one that doesn’t have laws requiring that employees get paid time off.

By offering time off, you demonstrate your company’s values. Work isn’t everything. It’s important to take care of yourself and to spend time with your friends and family. People who take more time off are healthier and happier.

Perks are what make your compensation package unique. By offering any amount of time off, you demonstrate that your company values flexibility and work-life balance. The bottom line is that youre offering a real benefit that will increase employee satisfaction.



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This post was written by Chris Rhatigan

Chris Rhatigan is a freelance writer and editor. He is a former newspaper reporter for The New Haven Register and The Iowa City Press-Citizen. He enjoys playing old video games, studying (and trying to speak) Hindi, and walking his dog on the local trails. He lives in India.