Evernote is a Californian company that sells a popular note-taking software package. It offers its people unmetered time off for holidays. Phil Libin, CEO, made this comment in the FT, “Getting a job at Evernote is tough and people want to be here. If you take the attitude that being in the office isn’t a punishment then spending days outside the office is not a reward.”
Similarly the Sheffield based software company, Wandisco, gives unlimited vacations. CEO, Dave Richards, says, “People are very committed anyway so why do you need to restrict the amount of time they can take off?”
Limitless holiday time is a growing trend among high-tech companies including Netflix and UK based consultancy Inbucon. It is part of a culture where employees are highly engaged and committed. And in that atmosphere no-one seems to abuse the privilege.
LRN is a New York services firm that gives unlimited time off and pays expenses without vetting. It sounds wide open to abuse but Mike Slvarezza of the company says, “Trust is hugely important and in working relationships and allowing people to take as much holiday as they want is part of that.”
Advocates of the system claim that staff continue to take modest amounts of holiday despite its unrestricted status. People at Wandisco take about 16 days a year. But most of these companies do not even record how much is taken so hard figures are difficult to obtain.
Could this be a big new innovation in HR policies generally?
It is unlikely that it will suit larger companies and the fear of misuse will deter most HR departments. However, it does show what can be achieved when there is a high level of commitment and trust in a business. It motivates those employees who are fortunate enough to work for an employer who shows such a high level of faith.
image credit: shorebranding
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Paul Sloane writes, speaks and leads workshops on creativity, innovation and leadership. He is the author of The Innovative Leader and editor of A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing, both published by Kogan-Page.