The Pros and Cons of Unlimited Vacation Days

Forget two weeks vacation. More and more companies are now offering unlimited vacation days and seeing surprisingly favorable results. Brands like GrubHub, Evernote, Netflix and even General Electric have taken the plunge. Before you send your employees off for a tropical getaway, gain a thorough understanding of the implications.


The Pros

An Excellent Recruiting Tool

The talent level of your workforce inevitably impacts your company’s bottom line. Recruiting the best and brightest puts you at a competitive advantage that can pay dividends long-term. It’s safe to say that offering unlimited vacation days can be a tremendous asset for recruiting, especially for the younger generations of millennials and Gen Z’ers who don’t want work to dominate their lives.


Healthier Work/Life Balance

There’s a lot of talk about achieving a healthy work/life balance these days. Modern employees are becoming collectively burned out with the increasingly long work weeks and looking to reduce their stress. What better way to recharge your employees’ batteries than offering unlimited vacation days?


Improved Morale

Combine increased job satisfaction with less stress and more time for employees to focus on their personal lives, and you’re bound to experience improved morale. This can translate into a host of benefits like increased productivity, lower absenteeism/tardiness, and reduced turnover.


The Cons

Not Viable for All Industries

Unlimited vacation days may work well for a small tech startup where hours don’t really matter as long as the job gets done. But it can be a disaster for a larger manufacturing company where the number of hours worked directly impacts output and productivity.


It Can Lead to Abuse

Let’s be honest. Most companies are bound to have a few employees who are a little too willing to take full advantage of this type of working arrangement. In turn, it can be a catalyst for indolence.


It Can Be a Scheduling Nightmare

Coordinating long-term projects can be next to impossible when you’re not sure who’s going to be available. It can be especially problematic if there’s a “linchpin” employee whose absence throws the entire operations off.


Is it Feasible for Your Company?

Implementing a vacation policy such as this demands careful consideration. It’s by no means something you want to jump into on a whim. Some key factors to consider include your industry, working environment and just how comfortable you feel with the idea.

If you do decide to allow unlimited vacation days, establish parameters that dictate how far in advance employees must notify you before they go on vacation. This should minimize disruptions and ensure that you have adequate manpower on any given day. Be sure to address this on your company’s vacation policy. You can find a sample unlimited vacation policy template from Workable.

Going all-in on unlimited vacation days has become fairly mainstream, but it’s not right for everyone. Carefully weighing the pros and cons and assessing the needs of your company should let you know whether it’s a viable move or not.


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