SAN LEANDRO, Calif. – July 7, 2016 - A new survey released today by TriNet (NYSE: TNET), a leading cloud-based provider of HR services, underscores the importance of generous paid time off (PTO) packages for employee satisfaction.
The TriNet survey gauged the impact of various PTO benefits on workers’ behaviors and their job performance. The survey found that employees consider PTO a very important part of their job satisfaction. It also found that nearly one-third of employees mainly take time off for medical emergencies, family obligations or personal obligations. Employees who take time off for these reasons earn, on average, $22,000 less per year than those who mainly take time off for pleasure. Finally, the survey showed that older workers expect more time off than their younger colleagues.
Lower salary means less PTO for pleasure
The survey found that those who take time off to enjoy themselves usually have higher average salaries, while lower-salaried respondents use their time off for less pleasurable activities.
The older the worker, the more time off they expect
The survey also discovered PTO requirements increase with age.
While millennials frequently say they want a balance of work and personal life, survey data shows they actually have lower expectations in terms of PTO compared to older generations.
PTO is essential to employee happiness and productivity
The survey found that 89% of all employees surveyed consider PTO important to their job satisfaction and count PTO packages as an important component when evaluating a new position.
The survey also indicated that duration of vacation time is critical to U.S. workers. Generous vacation packages are no longer just considered a bonus; many workers see them as a necessity.
Almost half (49%) of respondents said that 2-3 weeks is the minimum amount of time they need to have off.
The law in the U.S. does not require paid vacation and holidays, with the exception of government contractors and subcontractors who are covered under the Davis-Bacon Act. With the absence of government requirements, almost a quarter of Americans have no paid vacation and no paid holidays (23%). By contrast, European workers receive a minimum of 20 vacation days (equal to 4 workweeks) of PTO per year under European Union law.
Workload can still stand in the way of people taking time off
Americans still let vacation days go to waste and work responsibilities often turn out to be the culprit:
The survey found that women are more likely to disconnect than men:
The survey data underscores that women are less likely to mix vacation time and work than their male counterparts.
Jaqueline Breslin, Director, Human Capital Services, TriNet
“If employers are serious about attracting and retaining talented employees, they need to provide competitive paid time off packages that work for multiple generations and diverse personal priorities. Setting a PTO policy that meets the needs of employees doesn’t just help reduce costly employee turnover. It is imperative for maintaining company morale and ensuring your employees feel happy, energized and able to perform to the best of their abilities. This has a direct positive impact on your business’s bottom line.”
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TriNet is a leading provider of a comprehensive human resources solution for small to midsize businesses (SMBs). We enhance business productivity by enabling our clients to outsource their human resources, or HR, function to one strategic partner and allowing them to focus on operating and growing their core businesses. Our HR solution includes services such as payroll processing, human capital consulting, employment law compliance and employee benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans and workers compensation insurance. Our services are delivered by our expert team of HR professionals and enabled by our proprietary, cloud-based technology platform, which allows our clients and their employees to efficiently conduct their HR transactions anytime and anywhere. For more information, please visit http://www.trinet.com.
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 Respondents who take time off for pleasure earn $76,000 per year on average; respondents who take time off for medical necessities, family emergencies or personal obligations earn $54,000 per year on average.
 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015, Series ID: ENUUS00050010. http://www.bls.gov/cew/home.htm.
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