It’s become certain that insurance organizations will need to incorporate remote work to some degree to not only attract the best talent, but also to hold on to current employees. With that the question regarding PTO becomes, “Should I expect to be offered less PTO to work remotely than if I was working in the office full-time?”
There’s a perception that working from home is like being on vacation. It may be true that employees who work from home have more flexibility to do their work, but it doesn’t mean that they put in any less effort. They are still required to put in a full workday and deliver results. Therefore, it is not fair to ask remote employees to give up PTO or any other benefit in exchange for a remote position. Remote employees need to be able to shut down and take time away from work for personal reasons just like their in-office counterparts. Companies PTO policies should address remote and in-person employees evenly.
In a recent blog Is the Future of the Insurance Agency Workforce 100% Remote?, I wrote about what remote work looks like and how it can mean different things to different employers. Work flexibility is just the same. Just recently I’ve been working on 2 separate remote searches with different clients both looking for a similar account manager profile. Both clients got to final stages with candidates and presented offers. Offer #1 came with 3 weeks PTO and the understanding that being a remote employee meant there could be flexibility to not have to eat up PTO for short appointments or occasionally shuttling kids to practice as long as work was still getting done. Offer #2 also came with 3 weeks PTO but it was made clear that the employee would need to be online from 8-5 everyday and keystrokes would be monitored, so PTO would need to be used for any time away from the computer. Offer #1 was happily accepted while the client that offered #2 is still seeking the perfect candidate. It is important to know what your potential employer’s definition of ‘flexibility’ is before negotiating for more PTO or accepting an offer.
As companies continue to figure out what post-pandemic benefits look like, PTO policies will continue to evolve. One of the things we have started to see already include disallowing PTO rollover and offering a payout instead. People have had so much time to rollover due to not taking vacations during the pandemic, so companies have started limiting or eliminating roll overs all together. Another thing we have seen is companies switching their PTO policies from a calendar year reset to an anniversary year reset so there’s not a huge influx of people trying to use up their PTO at the end of the year.