New Study by PTO Exchange and Lighthouse Research Finds Six in Ten Workers Leave Vacation on the Table Each Year

By Gregg Makuch - Mar 31, 2022 3:00:00 AM - 6 MINS READ

Research shows paid time off (PTO) policies are increasingly obsolete for a diverse workforce 

SEATTLE, WA - March 31, 2022 - PTO Exchange, the first benefits platform that allows employees to self-direct the value of their unused paid time off (PTO) for other needs and causes, announced today the availability of new proprietary research that demonstrates mainstream PTO benefits are not meeting the needs of the workforce in many cases. PTO Exchange collaborated with Lighthouse Research on It’s Time to Rethink Paid Leave to understand how employees are using (or not using) their accrued PTO benefit and how they view flexibility and options, among other things.

Key findings in the report include:

▪️ Only four in ten workers use all their leave each yeartime-rethink-PTO-cover-thumbnail-460x560

▪️ Three out of four workers report taking an "unneeded" vacation in order to avoid losing accrued time

▪️ Four out of five workers would donate vacation hours to a coworker in case of emergency

▪️ 83 percent of workers would be very or extremely interested in converting unused PTO into other financial resources

▪️ Nine out of ten employees agree that the ability to convert unused PTO would make them more likely to stay with their employer

19headshot_SM“We saw some sobering statistics. For a long time we assumed offering a PTO benefit was enough, but the data show that it’s not meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse workforce that have different priorities and needs.

I have to admit some of the findings really surprised me - stronger feelings of loyalty, more stability in personal finances, and a sense of appreciation, among others. Meeting the needs of a diverse workforce with convertible PTO options can enable powerful outcomes not just for the business, but for every single employee as well.”

  - - Ben Eubanks, Chief Research Scientist, Lighthouse Research

PTO Exchange created the category to provide choice and flexibility for employees and a differentiated benefit to help the HR team with engagement and retention while also reducing liability for the Finance Department. Employees can self-direct the value of their unused PTO toward options that are meaningful to them personally, such as life planning (retirement funds), education (student loans), philanthropy (offering days to a co-worker or nonprofits), and more. For an employer, this is critical to retaining and engaging staff in the tightest job market in decades.

Further, PTO Exchange reinforces organizational culture and aligns a company’s mission with the ethos of the workforce, delivering value to shareholders.

rob-whalen-circle-headshot

"We sensed we were onto something very meaningful, but these responses even surprised us. We're firm believers in the value of paid time off, but the reality is the average employee is leaving a week unused every year. Having other options to use this benefit is incredibly meaningful to employees and builds loyalty, goodwill, and reinforces a positive culture for employers.” 
 -- Rob Whalen, Co-Founder and CEO

About the "It's Time to Rethink Paid Leave" Study

This custom research was conducted in November and December, 2021. It is based on survey responses from 1,000 employees working full-time at firms that offer an accrued PTO vacation policy. Respondents were US-based and worked at organizations with less than 50 to over 10,000 employees, spanning a wide variety of industries and professions. Demographics include representation by gender, age, and ethnicity and represent the view of the entire working population statistically with a 99 percent confidence level +/- four percent margin of error.

About Lighthouse Research

Lighthouse Research & Advisory is a modern analyst firm dedicated to setting the standard for excellence in talent, learning, and HR. By providing compelling research and actionable insights for business leaders, our team’s mission is to navigate the rapidly changing field of human capital management to support today’s talent and learning functions. Our advisory, research, content, events, HR Awards Program, and other offerings serve tens of thousands of employers across the globe every year.

About PTO Exchange

PTO Exchange is the first benefits platform that allows employees to self-direct the value of their unused paid time off (PTO) for personal needs and causes. Employees can self-direct the value of their unused PTO toward options that are meaningful to them personally, such as life planning (retirement funds), education (student loans), philanthropy (offering days to a co-worker or nonprofits), and more. PTO Exchange helps companies increase employee engagement, staff retention and loyalty while reducing balance sheet liabilities and reinforcing a positive culture. PTO Exchange is SOC 2-certified and trusted by STRATACACHE, Howard Brown Health, UCare, Centre College, Griffin Capital, 4 Wall Entertainment, and others.

Media Contact

Kristen Grossi
talkTECH
kristen (at) talktechcomm.com

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Gregg Makuch

Gregg is CMO at PTO Exchange. Passionate about solving customer problems, cycling, caffè, wine, and all things Italian.

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