Looking to Hire or Retain Employees? Offer Paid Time Off for Health

I started working at Atomic several months ago. I decided to join for the unique work, flexible hours, and great culture—a nice salary didn’t hurt either. The addition of Atomic’s benefits made it even easier to make the decision, but it wasn’t the first thing on my mind or my list of importance. I didn’t realize that the benefits like PTO for Health would become one of my favorite parts about Atomic.

Benefits weren’t the first thing that came to my mind when I went to write this post, but a bout of sickness last week put me in bed for a couple of days. The only thing that I thought about while being sick was getting healthier. It made me realize how important paid sick time really is. If you’re trying to hire developers or are just trying to keep developers happy and healthy, consider offering Paid Time Off (PTO) for Health. It can help promote a culture of care, keep employees happy, create a tipping point for perspective employees, and prevent unnecessary stress.

Benefit of PTO for Health: Keep Employees Happy

This point is straightforward. When was the last time you were happy while being sick? For me, it was probably in kindergarten when I got to stay home and watch Veggie Tales. Now it’s just miserable. If an employee has to work while sick, chances are they’re upset, tired, and not productive in the first place. May as well let them stay home and recover without worry.

Benefit of PTO for Health: A Culture of Care

When I was out of commission for a few days, I knew the only thing that mattered was getting better. Work could wait till after I was healthy. This attitude is abundant at Atomic, and part of the reason is that everyone has access to sick time. The culture of caring made me feel like my team and company had my back. When I came back to work, I came back productive and in good spirits. A lot of that is due to the financial and social support that came out of the company. I knew I wouldn’t be missing a day’s pay and I knew that my team wouldn’t make me feel bad for missing a day here or there. The culture made the decision and the recovery very easy.

Benefit of PTO for Health: Prevent Unnecessary Stress

If you don’t provide employees with the PTO benefit, you risk an unproductive and demoralized workforce. A worker who needs to debate between taking time off to get healthy or getting paid and working while sick will not be thrilled to come to work. It can also create a hostile culture where employees won’t take time off because they are scared about their social capital or worried about snide remarks from coworkers for “leaving them shorthanded”. Even if the worker decides to stay home, they now have lost a day of pay and have additional economic stress placed on them on top of social and (more importantly) health problems.

Benefit of PTO for Health: Boost Recruitment

The more benefits you offer a prospective employee, the higher the chance of them working for you. Any leg up can take you from having to spend more time and money hiring to having a rockstar/wizard/genius/10xer/Mozart on your team providing value.

If you think PTO for Health is a money sink, I would encourage you to think about it differently. It’s an investment into your culture, your people, and your success. Keeping employees happy and productive can be invaluable to a company, and is certainly worth more than a day’s worth of labor.