Flexible time off is a form of paid time off, or PTO. It's unlimited, unearned PTO. It's available when needed.

This company benefit gives employees paid time off to do whatever they want. Flexible time off can be used for sick days, vacations, errands, or mental health days.

Because flexible time off can be used for any reason, it's easy to overthink it. Can a vacation be extended? Too much use? Is paid time off unlimited or capped?

Your employee handbook or HR specialist can help you understand what's allowed and what's not. Some flexible time off packages have a set number of days, while others are unlimited.

You should consult your employee handbook or HR manager, but in general, you should treat your days off like vacation or sick days.

Best Practices for Flexible Time Off Take vacation time. Take PTO often, not occasionally. "You train your manager to see it as a natural, consistent occurrence," says Rezvani.

Plan PTO early. In an emergency, sure. If you know about a vacation or appointment three months in advance and wait to request PTO, you may surprise coworkers.

Don't overexplain PTO. If you're comfortable, offer details. But don't. Don't explain your time off by saying, "I'm taking Billy to the dentist" or "I'm going to a spa in Arizona."