PTO requests soar to 4-year high globally in January 2024

Performance reviews also up year over year, says report

PTO requests soar to 4-year high globally in January 2024

Paid time off (PTO) requests across the world reached a four-year high in January 2024, according to new data from BambooHR.

Its latest Workforce Insights Report revealed that the first month of the year saw 56% of employees globally making PTO requests.

This follows an increasing trend of PTO requests annually, going up an average of 11% globally since 2019, according to the report.

It noted, however, a growing gap of unapproved PTO requests across the world.

Despite PTO requests increasing annually, approvals only went up nine per cent since 2019. By month, only 49% of PTO requests are getting approved despite the new high in requests.

In the US, only half (51%) of the 32% of PTO requests filed monthly are getting approved. By industry, the finance and non-profit sectors saw the highest PTO requests in February.

Source: BambooHR

Performance reviews also up

Meanwhile, the number of employee performance reviews is going up 15% annually, with January 2024 seeing 28% more completed reviews than the same period last year.

"Most employees just completed a review cycle, as reviews typically happen in the winter (November–January) or summer (June and July)," the report said.

In the US, there are only five peer reviews for every manager review, much lesser than the average of 17 in other countries.

Source: BambooHR

Anita Grantham, Head of HR at BambooHR, said the data indicates how employees value work-life balance and direct feedback more than before.

"Managers looking to retain talent will need to take a closer look at what staffing needs they have and if increasing PTO and performance feedback is possible," Grantham said in a statement.

"The workforce isn't shy about asking for these things. I think we'll only see this trend continue and organisations will have to increasingly embrace those values to attract the new generations entering the workforce."

Global turnover down

The findings come as global turnover decreased by 25% from February 2023 to February 2024, according to the report.

It also found that hiring went up 27% between December 2023 and February 2024, with recruitment outpacing turnover through January and February.

Job openings went up 54% between December 2023 and February 2024, representing the highest proportion of job openings since March 2023, according to the report.

BambooHR's Workforce Insights report sourced its data from millions of employee data points in the US and across the globe.

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