It sounds too good to be true; take unlimited vacation no questions asked. Well not exactly. More like, take unlimited vacation time if you get all your work done. And the powers that be sign off on the request. With under 1% of organizations in the United States providing unlimited vacation, LinkedIn is the next one on board. Along with Grant Thornton LLP, Groupon, Netflix, Virgin Group Ltd and a handful of others, LinkedIn is the latest to implement this strategy.
What is Unlimited Vacation?
Unlimited vacation is exactly what it sounds like. Taking off as much time as you want. Now of course there are a few already mentioned requirements. All your work must be done, your team/department must be in a good place and the request must be signed off on by management. The theory of unlimited vacation does sound great. But who amongst us, especially in the planning industry, ever has their work totally done? I still don’t have all my work from 2014 completed. Having said that, if you do meet the criteria, it provides employees the choice to take as much time off as they want. But is it really unlimited? Can you really take as much time off as you wish? And does it work?
What are the Advantages of Unlimited Vacation?
There are proponents on each side of the policy. Some say it actually does increase productivity and ultimately time off. While others feel exactly the opposite happens. Resulting in employees take off less time, if any at all.
Recently companies are demonstrating their employee dedication for a better life harmony. And there are some amazing advantages on both sides of unlimited vacation. Staff come back in a more positive frame of mind, refreshed, reinvigorated and work better as a team. A win-win situation. And at the core, isn’t success all about teamwork, communication and trust. Making unlimited vacation less about the time off and more about the trust, company principles and management. And what I’ve learned is that without those standards, unlimited vacation most likely will not work.
Yeah or Nah to Unlimited Vacation?
All kinds of polls and surveys state that in 2014 only 25% of employees actually took all their due paid vacation time. Only 25%, surprising, don’t you think? In the end only a small, very small percentage of companies offer their employees unlimited vacation. And even less than that have a plan to implement that policy in the future. The facts are we all need time off for our mental and physical health. Customarily vacation time is sanctioned based on an organizations policies and procedures. And an employee has the right to take the time off, when it works for an organization, or get paid for it.
Back in the day I was an intense workaholic and mostly never took vacation time. Or when I did I ended up cancelling, cutting it short or attached to the phone. Times have changed and I’m older and wiser. And I’m now a big believer in always taking sanctioned time off. It really does make all the difference. You feel so much healthier, happier and return to the office ready to take it all on. Back then I probably wouldn’t have taken advantage of the perk. But these days my frame of mind is different and I think I could easily balance the opportunity.