Unlimited Vacation Days

It's always nice to hear when there are people out there drinking the same Koolaid as me sometimes. There appears to be more employers concerned with worker output then first realized. A growing trend among some employers out there, mainly the big ones, is Unlimited Vacation Time. Yes, you read right. Unlimited. So is it as basic as it sounds? In a way, but essentially, yes. The thought behind the process is that by offering unlimited vacation time for employees, they, in turn, will become more productive which will obviously turn into growth within the company. Many of you reading this may be shaking your head at such a silly idea, but let it wash over you just a bit and consider the opportunity here.

Sometimes being it work doesn't mean you're productive.

Paid Time Off (PTO) is something that every company should have for their workers, but the idea of giving out an endless amount of it? Seems crazy. So crazy, that it could actually catch on and work. An employer has enough to worry about, but when it comes to PTO, there's a mess of work involved with it. Many companies allow their workers a few weeks time off each year. Out of those few weeks, employees usually leave 2 days of PTO on the table. Hard for me to believe, but whatever. Some companies allow these days to be carried over for a certain amount of time or until they retire. So what happens to that left over time? Most of it gets paid back in salary which can get costly for a company. Those that book indefinitely will have weeks of PTO on the books for years to come that will affect their balance sheets for the foreseeable future. For instance, if I look at my own company where we have a decent rate of retention in employees, I know of several who barely take any time off from their job whatsoever. Very unhealthy for them, but a pull on the finances for my company for sure. Read enough about the subject and you could easily see the arguments against and are probably envisioning them now. And that would be an obvious reaction...from American companies that is. As more countries have moved towards the 4 day work week, Unlimited Vacation Time has been catching fever abroad. The use of one of these or a combination of both has been proven to increase morale and output in companies. Why? By showing a level of trust in your employees and giving them certain freedoms that they wouldn't normally get, they are reflecting that with "thanks" through harder work and more investment in a company that looks beyond the norms of business and seeks new ideas to make their employees feel more gratitude.

Is there a downside? Obviously. Companies will always have "that" employee that takes things too far and it does occur. But, it's being seen much less than you would think and that's due to the employees that are being recruited and attracted to these companies. They tend to be swayed by these human resource unique offerings. New reports have shown that many employees don't abuse the process at all, but have higher impressions of their company simply because it's offered. Makes sense huh? It's like most things in life. When it's forbidden, you want it and you will complain about it. When it's readily available, it's nice to know it's there, but it's not fundamental that you have it. With only a number of larger companies employing this tactic, such as Netflix, Best Buy and a slew of others, the concept is now being carried over to mid-size and small companies. And just as before, is being embraced with the same results of productivity and cleaner books.

Sometimes you don't have to be at work to be productive.

As for the employees, it's a no brainer. We're always looking for morale building and this one may top them all. Imagine if your boss tells you we have a new policy and you can take as much time as you want off. But...you will be held responsible for your work. That's the kicker that keeps the productivity up. Workers, generally, have pride about their work and never want to be identified as the cog that keeps the engine from running smoothly. Because of that, they will work harder to ensure there is no drop-off in their output. We must get past the time that we feel an employee is productive when they are at work. The new age of technology has made us work before and after work, whether we wanted to or not, and believe me when I say, it's expected. After all, that's the reason we gave you that smartphone, right? So if you're asking more of your employee, why not offer more as well. For instance, I work hard and come in for more hours than I'm asked. I take my few minutes here or there to preach the good news of travel to keep my sanity. I also take my vacation hours, but I can't envision taking much more than I typically take if it was offered. Why? The buck stops with me and I have pride for what I bring to this job or any other job. And that is what separates the good workers from the bad. This design could not only enforce the beliefs of the good, but weed out the bad, because the proof is still in the pudding when it comes to work. It's not so much how many hours did you work, but how many productive hours did you work. That's the real test and by hiring the right people who see the true value in the design, the company will be in a better place, with less hanging garbage in the books. I hope you are now seeing how trendsetting this concept could be, because it has definitely opened my eyes. Will it take hold? Well, it's an uphill battle in this country, but it deserves consideration. 

What do companies have to lose by trying?  Maybe Paid Time Off 

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