Local Tech Company Institutes Unlimited Paid Time Off


Element 74, a digital production company, recently launched a new company-wide benefit to all of its salaried employees in the form of unlimited paid time off.

In between client engagements and company goals, employees are now encouraged to take off as much as they want to as a way to recharge, stay fresh, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

“Unlimited PTO is something the other VPs and I have wanted for years. Huge companies like Netflix have been doing this for a long time, and we kept thinking, ‘why not us?’ Today’s work environment is completely different than it was in the early 1900s. We’re focused more on creative output and not so much building widgets as efficiently as possible. Everyone is at their best at different times and you can’t force creativity or deep focus. Unlimited PTO means a completely flexible schedule which empowers our people to work when they feel at their most creative,” says Austin Bollinger, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing.

Studies have shown that unlimited paid time off leads to happier employees, higher retention of talent, and better creativity. Similar studies show that unlimited PTO increases employee buy-in within the company. Instead of working to fill 40 hours, employees work towards their individual goals as well as the overarching company goals.

Carrie Walker, a copywriter in her second year at Element 74 said, “The creative process can be fickle at times. When you’re already banging your head against the wall, the last thing that’s going to help is banging your head for another hour just because it’s 4 p.m., not 5 p.m. Unlimited PTO gives us the flexibility to take that mental break when we need it, allowing us to come back recharged and ready to roll.”

Darren Burgfeld, an 8-year veteran at Element 74 is equally excited about the new policy, “What I appreciate about unlimited PTO is the freedom to be a dad, a volunteer, and a helping hand. Knowing that the time is there, when I need it, to leave a half-day early to take my kids to the zoo, or drop a few hours in the middle of a day to go help serve meals or something is great.

“For others who haven't been here for eight years, I imagine it has relieved the worry of balancing health and work. ‘If I take the week off for this trip, what will I do if I get sick in the fall?’ Those kinds of questions lead to doubt, then canceled plans, and then higher stress at work which ultimately results in a lower quality of production.”

Cape Girardeau-based Element 74 specializes in websites, custom and proprietary software solutions, secure hosting, and digital marketing services.