The Impact of Volunteer Time Off for Your Employees & Culture

At some level, every human wants to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Oftentimes, we may find ourselves wanting to make an impact but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. Volunteer time off (VTO) makes it possible to balance giving back and collecting a paycheck. When coupled with a company’s mission to create a thoughtful work environment, VTO can boost an organization’s reputation and culture. 

Since Green Apple was founded, we’ve placed great emphasis on the importance of community outreach and have offered pro bono services to nonprofits and organizations across Tennessee. Now, every member of the Green Apple team has the opportunity to receive paid time off to volunteer with organizations of their choice. 

How Volunteer Time Off Works

Companies that offer paid time off for volunteering typically give one or two days a year to do so. Hours that can be used for volunteerism are usually separate from PTO for other uses like vacation or sick days. 

Green Apple provides 16 hours a year of volunteer PTO. The system at Green Apple allows us to choose our own activity and submit a request for time off to volunteer on our own. In addition to volunteering on our own at the place of our choosing, we also volunteer as a team several times throughout the year at Thistle Farms in Nashville. Green Apple began volunteering with Thistle Farms in 2022 and we’re currently working to grow our relationship with the organization and provide additional support. 

Benefits for All 

Paid time off for volunteering is a win-win-win situation. For starters, a UnitedHealthcare study shows that of the respondents who volunteered in a 12-month period, 93% said they experienced an improved mood, and 79% reported lower stress levels. There is a real link between personal happiness and productivity at work. So by encouraging your employees to volunteer, you may be boosting their mental health which would benefit the whole company.

Volunteer time off can be a workplace perk that helps your company stand out from the competition. Adding VTO to an existing list of people-supportive perks (such as remote work and flexible schedules) will also have an impact on engaging current and future employees alike. 

Finally, VTO is a great way to build camaraderie among your team members while they give back. Members of the Green Apple team recently participated in YUM!East, an annual fundraising event benefiting Fannie Battle Day Home in Nashville. Our team in Charlotte also volunteered their time for a cause benefiting the Move For Jenn Foundation

Acknowledging social responsibility or volunteerism is a powerful way to leverage your company’s community to create deeper, more personal connections with your audience/clients. We explore additional ways to create more meaningful relationships with your customers in this blog

VTO is a trending employee perk that we hope grows into standard practice for all companies. If you’re interested in keeping up with the changing work environment or just want to stay informed about the latest trends (and how they impact your business), our team is here to help. You can sign up for The Core, our monthly newsletter, to get the latest marketing insights and inspiration delivered directly to your inbox.