Our Answer to Pacing -37.8% in Team PTO Use 2020 vs. 2019

⅔ of Americans are experiencing burnout right now. So when our team members started averaging ~1.5 Weeks less PTO in 2020 than in 2019,  we knew we needed to solve the problem -- FAST.

What the Data Showed Us

At Seer, all divisions live into our “Stop Guessing” and data-backed decision making - including our People Team. 

Seer has always allowed our team members to take the time they needed to decompress, volunteer, spend time however they saw fit with our unlimited PTO flexibility. 

We trust our team and want to make it as easy as possible for them to manage, life, health and work demands.

When we saw a decrease in PTO taken by each team member, we had to dig in to understand how we can best support our team.

Our People Team saw a problem, had a hypothesis, and looked to the data to prove / deny and then solve it.


Industry Wide 2020 Data

According to Monster, CNBC cites: 

“69% of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home.” 

This is a +20% increase in comparison to a similar survey sent just two months prior (Early May vs. Mid July). 


Seer’s Qualitative Data

As we began to hear similar themes of burnout across our Seer team, what started as a "feeling" turned into a widespread need for greater R&R.

We decided to take a hard look at our current offerings along with asking, “what does the data say?”

Our hypothesis was that our team members may be a bit nervous taking time off due to the current environment -- we set out to prove or deny that hypothesis with some quantitative analysis.


Seer’s Quantitative Data

Compared to 2019, our team members have taken less than 50% (~ 2 weeks) of PTO on average in 2020 YTD through August.

2019: 3.86 weeks

2020: 1.6 weeks YTD through August

If this trend continues, 2020 will end with team members averaging 2.4 weeks of PTO -- losing ~1.5 weeks of PTO in 2020 or -37.8% year-over-year (2020 vs. 2019).

So our team is taking less PTO and thus, becoming more vulnerable to burn-out. That’s not something we want for our team.


We needed to take action…

While PTO dropped year-over-year, we did see an increase in one PTO type: Summer Fridays

Compared to 2019, our organization utilized 50% more days of Summer Fridays than in 2020!

2019: 74 days

2020: 113 days YTD through August

So we came up with a plan...


Solution: Summer Friday Extension & 1:1 Outreach


Although, we'd never force folks to take time off, we can give them more of what they are showing they want. 

Summer Fridays seemed to encourage R&R in more bite-sized chunks -- and the data showed our team took advantage of them a ton during 2020. Extending that through the end of year seemed like a no-brainer. 

And just like that, FYFriYAYs were born.

We rebranded this perk as FYFriYAY, a play on our weekly Friday tradition of giving thanks to all those colleagues who supported us throughout the week.


1:1 Outreach

We also reached out to individuals with less than 2 weeks of PTO YTD.

We armed our managers with the data needed to have productive conversations with their team about burnout. 

That one-one-one outreach was important to ensure our team members that are most at-risk for burnout had an opportunity to reflect on the PTO they’ve taken YTD and consider taking more if it fit their current need.


Join our Team and Take a FYFriYAY

Interested in joining our team? Check at our current job openings and learn more about working at Seer


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