What's the Deal with Companies Offering "Unlimited Vacation?"

You may have heard that some companies offer "unlimited vacation" policies. Sounds like a dream come true! No time limits, total flexibility, and pressure-free? For a select few, perhaps. But for the rest of those who work for a company offering this perk, not entirely.

While this new(er) method of working out vacation time for employees seems like paradise, it isn't exactly "unlimited." How would the work get done? Obviously, an employee cannot be gone 99% of the time or just clock into the office whenever they've got little else going on. There must be some structure in play, just not in the way we've grown accustomed to.

As per The Muse, for most companies with such a plan, "You're free to take as much time off as you choose, as long as you get the job done. It's a focus on producing great results, rather than just putting in the hours." Unlimited vacation policies exemplify trust and independence.

But with flexibility comes responsibility. The employee must balance their schedule thoughtfully and wisely. Additionally, employees must coordinate with their co-workers. Like The Muse notes, "Staffing needs and workplace structure can also affect how realistic it is for employees to take off whenever they please." The entire office can't be empty because everyone wants two weeks off for Christmas break.

That's why companies must set up guidelines, even if they can be adjusted to suit particular employee needs and preferences. As per Inc., "Companies can create an FAQ document to address issues like how much vacation to take at a time (two weeks max {for example}) and how to arrange that time off." That said, as per The Muse, "Similarly, your company may expect you to take a minimum number of vacation days."

The reason more and more companies are offering this sort of vacation policy is to "Allow workers themselves to set time off to allow them to better coordinate work and home life," according to Knowledge @ Wharton. Well-balanced and less-stressed employees benefit the company because they can give their all while at work knowing they can take time off when needed.

And an unlimited vacation plan is a plus for the employer as well. As per The Washington Post, "When employers stop doling out a set amount of vacation days, they no longer have to pay out unused days if workers quit or get laid off from the company. In today's hyper-charged work culture, people are taking less and less time off, leading to bigger and bigger piles of accrued time on companies' books."

As more companies begin to test out this vacation arrangement, some major companies are already on board and prospering. As reported by USA Today, these companies include General Electric, Netflix, Grubhub, LinkedIn, and Virgin Group.

Naturally, every employer must put forth their own limitations and provide clear cut expectations. But when everyone is pleased with the arrangement and the work gets done, the process can be a success.

Would you like to see your company make the switch to an unlimited vacation policy?

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