Getting burnt out because of too much work and not enough down time, or not being able to take off to Bali for that one month surfing excursion can sometimes be a bit of a downer for employees. With this in mind, some companies such as Netflix and Coupa are starting to provide employees with unlimited vacation days.
Sanket Naik of the tech startup Coupa told Today, MSNBC that he took a six week trip to Thailand and India last year to see his family and didn't have to worry about using up all his vacation days to do so. He said, "There's the flexibility to travel or fulfill personal commitments without violating HR policies. We don't have to count anymore."
Other companies such as Netflix, Red Frog Events and TheLadders have chosen similar models for their employees. Though it's not necessarily mainstream, employees definitely aren't complaining and the companies they work for rely heavily on trust and the accountability of their employees. "Employees must make sure all their responsibilities are covered prior to leaving, which often means counting on a colleague to pick up the slack. As such, excessive vacation usage will be frowned upon as it grates on colleagues," said Steven Miranda, managing director for the Center for Advanced Human Resources Studies at Cornell University ILR School to Today, MSNBC.
Netflix has also allotted the unlimited vacation day plan to its 900 employees. Co-founder Reed Hastings said to Bloomberg Businessweek, "My first company, Pure Software, was exciting and innovative in the first few years and bureaucratic and painful in the last few before it got acquired. The problem was we tried to systemize everything and set up perfect procedures. We thought that was a good thing, but it killed freedom and responsibility. After the company was acquired, I reflected on what went wrong."
Offering unlimited vacation days might actually increase productivity. Companies such as Hubpost, who implements this flexible vacation schedule, has been ranked the number two fastest-growing software company on the Inc.500.
The sky's the limit vacation policy could be a new way of thinking about work culture for the future where the 9-5 scheduled regimen isn't always best for employees, or even, the company.