Taking Time Off During the Holidays

So you want to take off the week between Christmas and New Year’s? Well, you are not alone. The holiday season brings plenty of time for being with family and friends, but those ever-pesky work schedules or company vacation structures can hinder those opportunities. Use these tips for maximizing your time off this holiday season.

Check Your Company’s PTO Policy

If you’re unfamiliar with your company’s PTO policy, a quick refresher is always a good idea. This will ensure that when you ask for time off, you’re asking for what is allowed within your company’s policy, handbook, or contract.

Know What’s in Your PTO Bank

Just because you want to take time off doesn’t necessarily mean you can. Some companies use an accrued PTO structure, which means you acquire PTO days over time. In addition, for some companies, PTO days can expire. Either way, knowing exactly what you have available is important when requesting time off around the holidays.

Communicate Early With Your Manager

When you’re thinking of taking time off for the holidays, it’s best to communicate your plans with your manager as early as possible. For some companies, paid time off depends on the schedule of others (or is first-come, first-served), so getting your request in sooner rather than later can increase your chance of approval.

Stagger Your Time Off

If you’re not planning an out-of-town vacation, consider requesting time off for only the days you really need. For some, this could mean taking four-day workweeks during December. For others, this may mean taking afternoons or mornings off. Again, try to examine your actual needs ahead of time and plan your requested days off accordingly.

Think About a Flexible Schedule

Many workplaces have resigned to the possibility of employees working remotely. So if you don’t need full days off but simply want more flexibility with your schedule around the holidays, communicate that with your employer. This way, they’re getting a worker through the holidays, and you have the flexibility to work on your own schedule. It’s a win-win situation!


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