Why I always offer unlimited PTO

Unlimited PTO

I started my first company as I was graduating college, without much real “corporate America” experience. As I began hiring employees in my mid-twenties, I started having to answer the question about how much paid time off employees got. It never really occurred to me. I wanted people who wanted to help build something cool, not who were concerned about punching a clock to get their hours in. So my gut instinct to the PTO question was “whatever, just do a good job!”

We eventually formalized the whatever policy into an unlimited PTO policy. My thinking was our performance should be measured based on how well we do our job, not how often our ass is in a seat. So if you want or need to take time for vacation or a doctor’s appointment, go for it! I trust the people I hire to make good decisions.

But that policy had an unexpected impact: nobody took time off. Since it was unlimited, I think my coworkers felt bad taking time off if others weren’t, so they didn’t and kept working.

So I had to to modify the policy. Still unlimited, but now there’s one week per quarter (i.e. every three months) of REQUIRED PTO. Each of my employees at my first company, and now at PFC (since I’ve hired @vivitron) has to take a week off from work each quarter, and on top never has to worry about taking time for appointments or whatever.

The result that I’ve seen is employees who get more done and care about their work. I’m glad for that policy this week as I get to follow my dream of sailing the open sea!

As always, reminding you to build wealth by following the two PFC rules: 1.) Live below your means and 2.) Invest early and often.


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