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What is VTO or Voluntary/Volunteer Time Off?

November 25, 2022
What is VTO or Voluntary/Volunteer Time Off?

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VTO is used as an acronym for both “Voluntary Time Off” and “Volunteer Time Off”. These are two different policies and knowing the difference is important if you consider providing them to your employees. While voluntary time off is a form of unpaid leave, volunteer time off is a paid one.

What is Voluntary Time Off?

Voluntary Time Off is a policy used by some companies to balance employees’ needs with rapidly changing workloads. This program offers its employees a choice to take unpaid time off without it having an impact on their job status when there are more people available to work whenever it is necessary on a particular day. This way, a business can offer its employees a chance to manage to create time for both their families and their job.

One of the most popular reasons for offering voluntary time off is overstaffing. For instance, a company has five employees booked for the same shift as two, meaning the other three won't contribute anything and will only be an expense. In situations like this, offering VTO to employees is a good choice.

What are the benefits of VTO (Voluntary Time Off)?

•VTO builds trust between the employer and employee. When a company offers its employees this policy, it creates a working environment where the employees can cooperate with their employer, and can work without the fear of exploitation.

• Increases the rates of productivity because employee comes to work motivated and rested.

•Provides work continuity without loss of time and money.

•Can be considered as one of the programs that contribute to a company’s employee retention efforts.

•VTO can divide a company from its peers since it shows the company's innovative vision.

•It can increase a company's prestige which would lead to qualified candidates’ applications to multiply.

What is a VTO at Amazon? Which voluntary time off policy Amazon is offering?

Amazon, a well-known example of this practice, encourages its warehouse employees to take Voluntary Time Off as a way to boost productivity and reduce personnel costs. With this unpaid time off policy, Amazon creates a ground for its warehouse employees who want to leave early or skip a shift. It is accessible to full-time, flexible, part-time, and reduced-time workers.

When there is little work to be done or when there are too many associates working or scheduled to work that day, VTO enables Amazon facilities to cut labor expenses.

Employees who finish their tasks earlier than the daily deadline may request voluntary time off and leave early. Before the holiday rush, the staff is frequently presented with this policy. This approach encourages workers to perform better and benefit from extra time for work or rest on sick days.

What is Volunteer Time Off?

Similar to paid time off, the Volunteer Time Off policy enables employees to take time off for volunteering throughout the workday and yet expect payment if you offer them this policy. This creates an opportunity for workers to support their community without having to lose a full day's pay. VTO is commonly incorporated into your paid time off plan as well, making it just as simple to monitor as vacation and sick days.

While other firms completely leave it up to the employee to choose whatever volunteer program they wish to work with, some companies can offer volunteer opportunities for their employees, and cooperate with a specific nonprofit organization. Both strategies have advantages, so if a company can find a way to combine them, it might be a big success for its business.

Corporate social responsibility through time off for volunteering

Most businesses that provide VTO offer between 8 and 80 hours a year, and some even give employees the option of taking paid leaves of absence to focus only on volunteering. A big company like Google offers its employees the VTO policy.

Even though it seems like VTO (Volunteer Time Off) would cost lots of money, in the long run, it can return to the company as expansion and productivity along with a boost for its image in the marketplace.


Is VTO a good thing? What are the benefits of VTO (Volunteer Time Off)

Some business owners might think it's wasteful to pay their employees to work elsewhere for a day, but there are many benefits to having a Volunteer policy in place.

Employee retention is higher

When employees believe that they can have an impact outside while being part of the company, it will make them favor their workplace. VTO contributes to both company's and employee’s active role in society, therefore, creating a more alluring workspace This leads to Leads to a significant reduction in the cost of human resources and hiring.

VTO Creates awareness within the community

Community success can often be personal success, and through working together, many companies and organizations can help to make a significant difference in communities that requires support. It also helps support people with disadvantages.

Job satisfaction

It helps employees' mental health which increases motivation, productivity, and job satisfaction within the workplace. Also strengthens bonds among employees and increases productivity in operations that requires teamwork. Employees who work for organizations that emphasize good deeds tend to be more satisfied with their place.

Customer satisfaction

VTO shows the company's support of cultural values. This leads to a boost in the company's reputation, image, and trust within society. Consumers appreciate businesses and associations that give back to their communities and make an attempt to improve the world.


Final Verdict On VTO

If it is done right, both Voluntary and Volunteer Time Off can help a company’s growth in the long run. Along with its benefits, it can be said that these policies can be hard to provide for small businesses or start-ups since those kinds of companies are short on budget and employees. However, these companies can work on these policies for the future as the business grows. This way when the policy is offered to the company’s employees, it will be an outcome of detailed work that can benefit both company and the worker without any drawbacks.

In addition, once a company chooses to offer one of the VTO policies to its employees it will become a part of more than %60 companies including big and well-known companies like Google and Amazon that provides programs and policies like VTO.

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