The Importance Of Taking PTO,
Even During A Global Pandemic

The Importance Of
Taking PTO, Even During
A Global Pandemic

Written by Lois Lane
🕒 June 06, 2020

The news industry demands dedication, and constant energy, in a way that makes taking time to yourself feel like a faux pas…

Especially at a time when the news cycle is cranking at double speed. However, taking time away from the emotional toll that comes with reporting news is critical for our wellbeing. Plus, it’s necessary for us to continue telling stories in a clear and focused way.

You may find yourself wondering whether to cancel the Paid Time Off (PTO) requests you made back in February, before the coronavirus hit. Especially since the concert you planned to attend is canceled anyway.

Even though you may not be able to spend those PTO days on a nice vacation, or fun experience, you should still consider keeping that request. Use that time for yourself!

A recent survey by monster.com finds that 52 percent of those who took the survey do not have plans to take time away from work to decompress. About 50 percent of respondents said they are feeling burnt out by work.

In an industry that already tests an employee’s resolve on the regular, it’s crucial that PTO be used.

If not, you could face burn out that could ultimately kill your passion for this career.

So, what if you’re already working from home? What could you even do with this time of? Depending on where you live, going for a hike or trying a virtual yoga class outdoors in an open space is one way to calm your mind.

You could also put on a drug-store face mask, and watch that guilty pleasure you’ve been eyeing on Netflix. Maybe even go for a walk, and call up a family member or friend you haven’t spoken to in a while.

Human connection is so important during this time of isolation, and can really help rejuvenate your heart and mind while you’re forced to be alone.

Ultimately, PTO exists so that you don’t risk losing a day’s wage to take time for yourself…

That’s the whole point! So yes, there may be a lot going on in your newsroom, and maybe you feel obligated to turn a package and a VO/SOT everyday. But the truth is that the newscast will go on without you, and the work you provide the day after your day off will be so much better for it.

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3 Comments

  1. What if you are working entry-level, part-time in a newsroom with no benefits at all and do not have paid time off (PTO). What should you do? I only get holiday pay and a financial investment plan. What should should you do? Thank you.

  2. Hello ANONYMOUS55,

    If you can’t take PTO, or get time off work, we would suggest you take some time for your mental health by trying some soothing guided meditations on YouTube, spending time with co-workers or friends when you’re feeling down, or even seeking a therapist in your area to process what you may be going through. We hope this helps!

    Best wishes to you 💜

  3. ANONYMOUS55,

    If you cannot take a day of paid time off, make sure you’re thinking carefully about how you use your normal days off. Plan a special, comforting experience for yourself, whether that’s a hike or a home spa day with a drug store mask, candles, and ice cream of your choice. If you can afford it, splurge on a manicure or a nice meal from your favorite local restaurant. Be very thoughtful about setting aside time that makes your time away from work a time for you to unwind and take your mind off things

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