It Does Get Better than “Unlimited Vacation”
By now you’ve heard, know someone, or are currently working under the progressive new workplace policy of “unlimited vacation time.”
Big names like Netflix, Groupon, Evernote, VMware, Workday, & HubSpot have all jumped on-board the trend making it only a matter of time before it becomes the standard in the corporate world.
The Unlimited Vacation Idea
As long as you get the job done, you’re free to take as much vacation time as you see reasonable.
This sort of thinking is revolutionizing the way we work, how we perceive work, and when we take time away from work, but unlimited vacation isn’t as good as it gets.
The Big Question
Does unlimited vacation time actually work?
The Answer: It depends on who you’re asking.
For the employee, the answer is yes. Unlimited vacation helps relieve some of the outdated ideas of clocking in-and-out and the fear that the employer is counting every hour you are gone.
For the employer, the answer is yes as well. Unlimited vacation gives employees a sense of empowerment – building trust, responsibility, and rapport in the process.
In fact, some initial findings show that the unlimited vacation policy actually makes employees work harder.
Where Unlimited Vacation Falls Short
Sounds like a win-win, right? The employee feels trusted and empowered all while not having to worry about the painfully slow process of accruing vacation days.
But wait… are employees under this policy actually using their unlimited vacation days? As it is, Americans only use about 75% of their vacation days under a normal two-week policy.
I am willing to bet that employees will end up using less vacation days under an unlimited policy.
Why? Because when vacation days are unlimited, you surely don’t want to be known as the employee who takes the most!
There’s always the next project to take on and with today’s highly competitive workplace, employees will naturally do what they can to get ahead.
It can be downright hard to judge when to take time off. To help, here’s a handy table to help you decide when to go on vacation:
The Idea of Mandatory Vacation Time
When I first heard about unlimited vacation time I thought, “Wow, finally the employer understands young professionals. We take work-life balance seriously and this is a big step!”
I quickly realized that it sounds great when you say it, but it may not address the underlying problem of over-worked employees and vacation days going unused.
A Vacation Solution
Mandatory Vacation Time. Under this policy, employees must take the vacation time given to them each year.
Employees would no longer have a choice when it comes to taking time off. Two weeks, out of the office, no work calls or emails.
This would eliminate office vacation stigma and create balance among employees. No one could skip vacation time to get ahead of another employee because it wouldn’t be an option.
Which Side Are You On?
Could mandatory vacation time work, or, is unlimited vacation time as good as it gets?