What would you do if you had an unlimited number of vacation days?
While some would call this unemployment, there are companies that embrace this radical approach giving employees a break – Netflix among them.
According to an MSNBC.com report on the practice, companies offering unlimited vacations don’t have to worry about the hassles of violating HR policies and keeping track of accrued time off.
The key, however, is accountability.
“Organizations that have had success with unlimited vacation, such as Netflix and Red Frog Events, rely strongly on accountability,” management consultant Matthew Stegmeier told MSNBC. “Employees must make sure all their responsibilities are covered prior to leaving, which often means counting on a colleague to pick up the slack.”
The work environment also must be big on self-motivation and self-discipline, and companies must have “mature high-performance employees,” according to Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings . In an April commentary on Bloomberg, Hastings said:
We focus on what people get done, not on how many days they worked. Prior to 2004 we had the standard vacation model, until we realized no one was tracking how many hours in a day they worked. … I make sure to take lots of vacation to set a good example, and I do some of my creative thinking on vacation.
There aren’t a flood of businesses rushing to revamp their current HR policies, but companies that have unlimited vacations swear by it, including tech startup Coupa, TheLadders employment service, WeddingWire.com and Social Strata in Seattle.
Is it a concept whose time has arrived?