The COVID pandemic has led to a massive drop in volunteer help for many non-profit organizations. Young adults have become a significant workforce, and many want to make the world a better place. VTO is one of the newest employee benefits companies offer to attract workers. It’s a totally new concept, but it’s gaining popularity daily. Since it is a complex concept, we have articulated it to make it easy to understand in one read.

What is Voluntary Time Off?

Companies use a category of leave to achieve proper staffing levels and balance the workload. Schedules, and more especially the number of people scheduled in a single shift, are based on science. However, due to issues such as too many staff scheduled for one shift, and other similar issues companies may incur a considerable cost that could be easily avoided by proper scheduling. Many organizations allow employees to take unpaid time off to save costs and balance staffing requirements.

While companies promote voluntary time off as a benefit for employees, it is a perk for employers. It needs to be genuinely voluntary and allow employees to take time off without repercussions from their employers. If a company practices work-life integration, it can benefit from employees taking voluntary time off.

What Is Volunteer Time Off?

It is a type of paid leave for employees given as a benefit. It allows organizations to contribute to the communities by letting their employees volunteer while being compensated for their time. Companies offer VTO by partnering with non-profit organizations or letting employees choose an organization independently.

Voluntary Time Off Policy

It can be taken by the full-time employees. It gives employees the option to take unpaid leave and can be an attractive benefit for employees looking to reduce their hours without cutting full-time status or salary. Some companies implement voluntary time-off policies to prevent employees from losing benefits or promotions should they need to take time off for medical reasons. If a company’s voluntary time-off policy is not used, it may not affect the employee. One concern is that it can also result in operation disruption and offices being emptied if it is not managed systematically to balance the amount of work available and the number of workers on hand.

Companies can establish a policy for employees to use their paid leave before becoming eligible. A company can also establish a voluntary time-off policy requiring approval for such requests.

Benefits of Voluntary Time Off

  • When a company is having difficulty finding new talent, the Company may offer volunteer time off to attract potential employees. Today’s top candidates often seek more than competitive salaries, so offering VTO can help companies attract talent.
  • Allowing employees to use their paid time off for volunteering helps companies in employee retention because they become more involved in something outside the workplace. One of the best examples of this practice is charity events, which provide employees with opportunities to interact with their co-workers and supervisors.
  • It reduces the turnover of employees, which leads to a reduction in hiring and training costs. Longer-term retention results in higher productivity and better-quality work, so VTO benefits the Company and its employees.
  • When employees participate in community-building events, the Company’s positive brand image is likely to spread. Companies may benefit from integrating this practice on all levels.
  • Companies can benefit from offering voluntary time off to their employees, reducing the number of unproductive hours employees spend on the job.

Volunteer Time off Policy

Companies that offer their employees paid time off for community service programs are investing in corporate social responsibility. Such companies are providing their employees opportunities to participate in community service programs. Employers may offer a Volunteer Time Off (VTO) policy, which allows employees to donate time to charitable causes. VTO policies are designed to give back to communities Employers believe that extending charitable projects to their employees will give them something to focus on outside of work. This is a way for the company to build a brand and instil a sense of pride in its employees.

Employees may take up to 24 hours of paid time off per calendar year to volunteer their services. Some companies also give employees a list of approved charitable organizations, with guidelines on how many hours they can donate. Employees may choose more than one organization from the list of approved groups and donate their time accordingly. The Company will offer half-days off for group volunteer activities. For personal volunteering, they can also take off. Employees are required to fill out the VTO Request Form and submit it to their manager seven days before the requested time-off. The manager and HR will review such requests in order to make a decision.

Importance of VTO

  • Technological advancements have changed how people communicate, and this has contributed to a decline in empathy. However, there is no shortage of people who want to help the poor and deprived communities’ flourish.
  • The growing importance of voluntary time off benefits in recent years is partly due to the increased presence of compassionate people among employees. Voluntary time off programs offered by many companies makes employees participate in their community’s well-being.
  • The Company’s values are also important for employees because the Company’s social responsibility is aligned with their interests.
  • Employees who see a purpose in their work tend to be satisfied with their jobs, which has been shown to affect their health positively. VTO helps employees maintain a healthy balance between their work and personal lives means managing work-life balance.
  • Therefore, the Company that creates a VTO program stands to benefit through increased brand popularity and reputation in the community.


Voluntary time off (VTO) can be useful for companies and their employees since it benefits both. It helps companies retain their valuable talent by allowing them to stay with the Company on flexible terms. It’s a win-win situation for both the employees and the employer as it will enable employers to provide more freedom to their employees in an attempt to gain new skills and helps companies to create a long-term culture and brand recognition if implemented correctly.

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