I’m all about family time. And, if I can include family time with friend time, even better. That’s one of the reasons I love Lake Powell.
I just got back from a week at Lake Powell, where we taught a bunch of little girls how to braid hair,
and how to surf:
Including one who is still too little to surf by herself:
We learned all kinds of life skills. But apparently, I forgot the one about how to put on sunscreen. Yes, those are my shoulders, burned around the life jacket outline. By the end of the week, all those girls could surf in the wave without the rope. It’s amazing how fast little kids learn.
I got this email from Mike that I wanted to share because there’s a lot of relevant learning we can do from it.
How does your company handle time off work? We have 13 OFS working for our company in the Philippines. (Or is it 14 now – I have to think hard to count as we keep growing and hiring.) Anyway, one area that I’d love to learn more about is how you handle holidays, vacation, and sick leave for your team. Specifics, especially about which holidays you give off, how many days of vacation or sick time, do they earn more as they work longer? What about maternity leave? (Typical to be 3+ months in the Philippines as I learned when our first OFS had her baby.) Paternity leave? (This will be a new one for us as a baby is on the way later this year.) Rather than try to understand Philippine holidays vs. US holidays, our policy is just to provide 25 days of paid time off. We’d love to hear specifics about how your company or others address time off, especially considering cultural differences.
That’s a lot. I’m going to try to answer all of them.
Specifics, especially about which holidays you give off, how many days of vacation or sick time, do they earn more as they work longer?
Our policy is “take whatever time off you want or need. If you can, we want to know about it ahead of time.” I don’t know if it’s the best policy, but it works for us. My team just takes their leaves when they need it, like when they’re sick or when there’s a death in the family. If they ask for a vacation leave, it’s never longer than two weeks. So the policy you mentioned about providing 25 days sounds good. I think you should try it to see if it works for you.
I’ve always tried to make this as easy as possible on myself. I don’t want to track days off.
I also don’t want someone to worry about taking time off. When someone asks for time off, we immediately tell them yes.
What about maternity leave? (Typical to be 3+ months in the Philippines as I learned when our first OFS had her baby.) Paternity leave?
Yes, maternity leave is three months in the Philippines. Paternity leave is seven days. If your OFS is paying into SSS, the Philippines government should pay for their time off. My experience is OFS are usually pretty anxious to get back to work.
I’m not sure that’s the best route as I notice that our team doesn’t seem to use days when it’s a holiday in the Phillipines.
Regarding holidays, like you, not everybody in my team takes the day off. Not everybody in my team is Catholic, so religious holidays aren’t as meaningful for them. Some choose to work on a holiday to save that time for a vacation. Some work on a holiday to take the day off to attend their kid’s recital or doctor’s appointments.
The only thing that matters to us is they inform us ahead of time or as soon as possible. They email Joven, me, or my business partner, Dan, to let us know. Once we know how long they’ll be out, we can make the necessary adjustments if needed.
For example, if someone in customer service takes a vacation, the team lead will make scheduling changes to ensure there’s always someone answering emails.
If it’s just one or two days off (like for sick leave) and they don’t have anything urgent that needs to be done, we just wait for them to get back.
In my business, we don’t have anything urgent. We don’t have deadlines. When people take time off doesn’t really matter to us.
Your business is probably different.
I suggest you come up with a plan for time off and then ask your OFS if it’s fair or if they have anything to add to it. If you have a relationship with them, they’ll make suggestions or ask for changes.