Paid Time Off or otherwise known as PTO, is a symbolic element of the modern work culture around the world. At some companies, PTO is simply a given, allowing employees to take their paid time off during the year whenever it suits their schedule the best.

In other cases, some staffers will receive time off from work, but won’t necessarily receive any compensation while not on the clock.

In recent years, there has been a growing debate over how much PTO is substantial, and given the condition of the modern workplace, where some offices are now completely virtual or remote, while others operate on a hybrid basis – monitoring paid time off can be hard to manage if you’re a small enterprise with inadequate tools.

In a survey report, it was found that more than 56% of U.S. employees admitted that they still have unused PTO days left from 2020.

During the height of the pandemic, where a majority of employees were either forced to take leave or had their benefits forfeited, many realized that mismanagement of employees’ time off can hurt a business’s bottom line performance.

An article published by Psychology Today found that when humans are subjected to relaxing, daydreaming, or simply doing nothing, their bodies will create alpha waves in the brain that help to spark insights and innovative ideas.

Ultimately the research shows that working longer, doesn’t necessarily mean employees are accomplishing more – nor are they being more creative or active at work.

Thus, the question begs to differ, how do small businesses and startups manage their PTO to ensure that employees receive the necessary time off, while also having enough time to rest without impacting business operations?

Four PTO Software Solutions

The simplest solution these days comes in the form of technology, and that’s true in many cases. From managing cash flow and inventory to tracking orders and creating digital strategies that target the right set of consumers – everything can be done through technology.

Let’s dive into what the best PTO software solutions are for small businesses.


Affordable, straightforward, and well-designed platform that caters to small businesses. Gusto started as a payroll service, dedicated to small businesses, but in recent years the company has developed additional tools and resources that now allow small and medium firms to plan and structure employee PTO and holiday schedules.

The platform offers users a tier subscription plan, making it easier for small enterprises to choose the most financially suitable option. Additionally, Gusto has extended functionality into Human Resources and helps managers to create a tailored PTO policy for the business.

The integrated system allows staffers to track and monitor their schedules, while also having access to reporting tools, and being able to view direct changes being made to their schedules in real time.


BambooHR is a fully automated software system that has been specifically designed for small businesses. The software platform comes with automated leave approval and allows business owners or managers to effortlessly structure employee holiday schedules.

With BambooHR, users will be able to have access to a range of tools and resources, most of which include employee notifications, a time-off calculator, and PTO balance updates.

The combination of tools and systems means that both employers and their personnel will be able to access PTO schedules and PTO balances.

Ultimately with BambooHR, we see how automation and straightforward system design deliver a simplified user experience, for both the employer and their employees.


Often seen as an HR management tool that equips small businesses with the necessary tools to set up and design PTO policies, Zenefits does come with a broad set of features and resources that gives business owners more seamless control over scheduling, payroll, and PTO tracking.

For starters, the platform can automatically calculate earned PTO days for employees, and instead of HR or a designated employee having to approve leave requests, Zenefits can help automate the entire process.

Additionally, the platform has a simple pricing structure, and plans are prices per employee member, which tends to be a bit higher for businesses and startups with multiple employees.

Although the price point may not be the most attractive part of Zenefits, it does connect to several other parts of the HR ecosystem and allows for more effortless PTO management.

HR Cloud

HR Cloud was designed with the idea of giving small and medium enterprises more control over how they want to manage their PTO schedules. With this in mind, HR Cloud allows users to create fully customized time-off schedules and policies, solely designed with the business in mind and what the employees require.

On top of this, the platform offers more than traditional PTO scheduling tracking, as it helps to monitor employee jury duty, sabbaticals, and even seniority. This means that instead of having to track these parameters elsewhere or manually, the system will help to comply with local jurisdictions and laws, while also ensuring it follows the company policy.

HR Cloud is what the name suggests and is a fully cloud-based system that is accessible by both staffers and employers.

Final thoughts

Having the right PTO software system not only makes it easy for employers to control, but also gives employees more ease of mind and a sense of transparency.

While not every company or small business might manage their PTO the same way, these software systems are designed to help make the calculation and management thereof more streamlined, while helping to boost employee productivity and ensure fair access to deserved time off.

Published First on ValueWalk. Read Here.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Ylanite Koppens; Pexels Thank you!


By Janet J

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