Most countries vacation a lot more often than the U.S., so a lot of vacation time may seem a bit weird. However, since Richard Branson announced his company will be experimenting with unlimited vacation, the idea has caught on.
The Virgin Group founder recently announced that his company would begin looking at unlimited vacation time recently, following the lead of companies such as Netflix, Groupon and Best Buy, according to the Chicago Tribune. The policy is going into effect for his firm of 200 people, though he has stated that if it proves successful, he will extend unlimited vacation to Virgin's subsidiaries, which employ some 50,000 people globally.
"It is left to the employee alone to decide if and when he or she feels like taking a few hours, a day, a week or a month off, the assumption being that they are only going to do it when they feel 100 percent comfortable that they and their team are up to date on every project and that their absence will not in any way damage the business – or, for that matter, their careers," Branson wrote on his blog, according to the publication.
While this policy may not work at such a large scale, many small and medium businesses have begun looking into the policy in an effort to woo employees, the Chicago Tribune explained. Unlimited vacation is a low-cost benefit that many job seekers may find attractive. This is a job perk that many employees can get on board with, and it won't cost too much money for small business owners either. For more about what such a vacation policy can provide for small businesses, check out some of the benefits below:
1. Gives employees an extra chance to rest
An unlimited vacation policy will allow your employees to choose when they get to recharge their batteries a bit, something that may not be possible at other jobs, Business Insider explained. Allowing your employees to rest for long periods of time – such as one or two weeks – can prove especially useful. Research has found that the more you work, the less productive you are, so giving your staff a chance to rest will allow them to get more done in the long run.
2. It provides your staff with a perk at little cost to you
Unlimited vacation time sounds like a significant benefit to employees, but it will come at a little or no cost to the business owner, according to HR Hero. Really, workplaces that have already implemented this policy have observed that most employees don't take off more than they would have. Of course, some people will take off a few more days per year than they otherwise would have, but they will also probably step up their productivity as well.
3. It provides flexibility and shows trust
Since you're relying on your team to make the decision to take time off for good reason, implementing an unlimited vacation policy is a show of trust in your staff, Business Insider noted. Showing trust in your employees can mean a lot to them. Some employees who recognize that they're highly trusted respond by carefully planning in order to ensure they complete their workload. Your staff will make sure they've wrapped up marketing projects, finished the business's financial plan and cleaned up the office before taking any time off. When you place trust in your team, they will make sure that their vacation doesn't impede the completion of their responsibilities.