Paid Time Off

Last modified by Catherine Scallen on August 5th, 2020 at 06:45 pm.

5.5 weeks (28 days) of PTO are available to all team members. We operate from a single PTO bank approach, meaning we do not differentiate between vacation/holiday/sick days. Every team member is free to use their PTO as they see fit.

Philosophically, we feel this approach aligns well with our core values. As a global company, we don’t want to bias towards any one country’s holiday schedule, or any particular religious observations either. We feel this approach allows us to provide our team members with the freedom and flexibility to determine how to best use their time, as also exemplified by our flex hours┬áapproach.

Rather than keeping a company holiday calendar for each country, each team member is free to choose when to take off a given holiday in their country. The one exception to this is election day! All team members are encouraged to take off election day in their respective countries to go vote, and/or volunteer at the polls! ­čŚ│

All team members get 5.5 weeks (28 days, or 224 hours) of PTO annually, earned immediately on January 1st of each year for use. Because PTO doesn’t roll over, we’ll pay out remaining PTO balances up to a maximum of 5 days at the end of the year, upon completion of a successful year (at our discretion.)

Taking PTO throughout the year is essential– rest and relaxation is important! To encourage this, managers will gently nudge team members if they notice a lack of PTO being used.

For payment purposes, PTO is accrued at a rate of 2.3 days per month. If you’re hired mid-year, PTO is prorated based on your date of hire.

PTO vs. Flex Hours

As a distributed company with flexible hours, we have two simple guidelines around when to take time off, vs when to make that time up later:

  1. If you’re not feeling well and need to take a few hours off, you may make up the time later in the day or the next day.
  2. If you’re too sick to work the majority of the day, you should let the team know and take the day off. We want everyone to focus on being healthy, so use your best judgement and don’t feel pressured to come into work (so to speak) if you’re not feeling up to it.

To recap:

You have 28 days of PTO to use as you see fit; up to 5 days of this would be paid out at the end of the calendar year if not taken (accrued at 1.5 days per month). We encourage you to take off during national holidays in your country!

Company Holiday

We have one additional company holiday that falls outside of this PTO policy, and is available to everyone without having to request off:

  • SkyVerge Day – First Friday in March. This celebrates the company founding (March 2013) and you’re strongly encouraged to wear some SkyVerge gear and wish the company a happy birthday.

PTO vs Flexible Hours

As we’re a remote company, we embrace the ability to set your own hours and work on your schedule. As such, it’s sometimes tough to know when to take PTO. For example, if your mom’s in town and you want to go to lunch, do you take PTO? What if you have a dentist appointment? For a lot of situations, taking PTO or not will be up to you.

You should put in PTO time if you’re:

  • Going to miss team meetings or town halls
  • Going to be out for at least half a day and will not make that time up either later or the next day
  • Going to be completely unreachable for a day
  • Going to be unreachable for consecutive days

You shouldn’t take PTO time if:

  • You’ll be out for part of the day, but you’re working later or the next day to make the time up.

For example, you end a bit early on Friday and catch up on Sunday afternoon – totally fine. You want to go grab lunch with a friend tomorrow, so you spend some extra time tonight wrapping up your project — also cool. We’re results-oriented, and more concerned with, “What did I accomplish this week?” than, “Was I at my desk for precisely 8 hours today?”

Working remotely with flexible hours is awesome, and is a benefit in and of itself that we want everyone to enjoy. You’re an adult with good judgment, so we just expect you to use your very best judgment as to when and how you’re working.

If you’re not sure whether something requires PTO or not, feel free to reach out to Catherine for clarification.

How to request PTO

We use Vacation Tracker to manage our PTO. All we have to do to request time off is enter /vacation in Slack. That will present you with:

‘Submit with reason’ allows you to enter a description. This is optional, and you can submit without reason as well. That’s it! Your manager will get a notification, approve the request, and it will be added to the Vacation Tracker calendar. Here’s a cheerful video overview of the whole process as well, complete with Charlie Brown cheers at the end. That’s it! Your manager will get a notification, approve the request, and it will be added to the Vacation Tracker calendar.

How far in advance to request PTO

If you’ll be out for a week or more, please put in your PTO request at least 1 month ahead of time for every continuous week that you plan to be out of the office (as it were). So if you’ll be out for 1 week, a month in advance, 2 consecutive weeks = 2 months. Even if you haven’t decided on exact dates, advanced notice for vacations ensures project planning can shift to accommodate this.

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