JRN 493 Week 3: Nurturing Corporate Culture through PTO

Anywhere you work will have paid time off (PTO), but every work culture of how it’s utilized is a little different. When I was at MLive, you could call in sick, but the culture was such that you were discouraged from doing so. Because of the volume of pieces being put out on a nightly basis, you were reminded that you being out meant more work for everyone else, and that guilt would make you come in when you weren’t feeling your best.

Allscripts handles things a little differently.

This week, I took Friday off from Allscripts. Not because I wanted to, or because I had no work that needed to be done, or because I wasn’t feeling well. I took Friday off because if I don’t utilize the last of my PTO, I lose it.

On one hand, this promotes a healthy working culture. You, as a worker, have an incentive to go out, recharge your batteries, and come back ready to contribute. On the other hand, the incentive is a lot of stick and very little carrot; there are other ways to handle unused PTO (Reimbursing you for the time you didn’t take off, or rolling over PTO in perpetuity). In the long run, I think Allscripts’ handling of unused PTO is beneficial. Sometimes, you don’t know that you needed a break from work until you’ve taken said break.

Monday through Thursday of this week, I was concerned with editing my content for a segment of documentation, plotting a course through the next month to make sure I can make my self-imposed deadlines, and working with other writers to learn more about the product I document. Friday, I stepped back from the work I was doing, bought a video game, and generally relaxed. But after relaxing, I was in a better place mentally to review the course I’ve made for myself for the next month, and can now make some changes to that course after I’ve seen the forest for the trees.

The daily work grind gets to everyone. I like being a part of a company that actively encourages its workers to take a step back from that grind. Discovering what corporate cultures do (and don’t) suit you as an individual is a huge learning experience that I hope other students take with them at the beginning of their professional careers.

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