Work-life balance has become a key recruitment term in recent years, with a growing number of employees and job-seekers looking to work for organizations that allow them more freedom when it comes to their schedules – telecommuting and flexible start times are good examples of companies allowing their staff more room to achieve a healthier work-life balance. Another benefit in the same vein is unlimited vacation time.
From an employer's perspective, unlimited vacation time likely sounds crazy on paper. Many managers will no doubt worry that employees will take unreasonable amounts of time off, which obviously could be costly in terms of productivity and the bottom line.
So why are more employers embracing this approach to time off? The answer is that unlimited vacation time policies are rarely abused in the way that organization heads may fear. Bruce Elliot, a manager from the Society for Human Resource Management elaborated on this point in a quote to Business Insider:
"There really isn't a lot of abuse in these plans," he explained. "They work really well in high-performance organizations."
It makes sense. If workers enjoy what they do and are passionate about their careers, it's less likely that they'll feel the need to take an excessive amount of time away from the office.
"Why are more employers embracing this approach to time off?"
Furthermore, unlimited vacation policies can actually be advantageous for businesses in a number of ways. Are you considering introducing an unlimited vacation time policy at your workplace? Need more convincing that it's a prudent move? Check out the list of five reasons why it could be a great decision for your organization:
1. It can give you an edge over other employers
Unlimited vacation is an incredibly enticing benefit that is still rarely offered. Indeed, according to Business Insider, reporting on data from SHRM, only 1 percent or so of U.S. companies offer unrestricted time off. Consequently, if you adopt an unlimited vacation policy you'll likely have a competitive edge over other employers when scouting out great talent, Inc. explained.
2. It indicates trust
Employees tend to enjoy work more when they are given a certain level of autonomy and freedom. As detailed by Business Insider, having an unlimited vacation policy in place signals to your staff that you trust their judgment to take an appropriate amount of time off and still complete all assignments to the highest possible standards.
3. It can make your employees work harder
Offering such an amazing benefit can actually help motivate your staff to work harder. This is because, as detailed by a company named Mammoth, in conversation with Fast Company, unlimited PTO gives you leverage to demand only the very best from your employees. Communicate this message during staff training: State that while unlimited PTO is available, it should be regarded as a reward for continual hard work, dedication and maintenance of high standards.
4. Your employees will be more inclined to stay
As detailed by Touro University, employees will no doubt be more eager to stay and work for your company if they have the flexibility of unlimited vacation days. As stressed earlier, it is a major benefit that few companies offer, and as such your staff will be less inclined to leave soon after joining your company.
5. It can save time and money
Unlimited vacation policies can, somewhat surprisingly, actually save your company time and money. How? Well, under most standard vacation plans employers are required to honor earned vacation time, even if a staff member is leaving, as detailed by Inc.,
Consequently, it is common for departing employees to cash in their accrued balance, which can eat away at the bottom line. Unlimited vacation policies don't have these rules, as you won't have to honor earned paid time off. Furthermore, your human resources department will save time on tracking paid time off days and other administrative tasks.
6. Your employees will likely be more productive
It may sound counterintuitive to argue that the option for more time off leads to more productivity, but it's true. The reasoning is simple – the more rested employees are, due to time off, the more engaged and productive they'll likely be. Touro University cited survey findings from SHRM, which found that a notable majority of employers- around 69 percent – would argue that productivity increases when staff routinely take vacation time.
While the benefits of an unlimited vacation policy are clear, there of course remains the risk that program could be abused by employees. That's why, as explained by The Muse, it is important to manage expectations with employees.
Devise some basic ground rules and ensure that employees understand what those mandates are. For example, you may want to restrict how much time workers take at any given time, so for example, not more than two weeks per trip. Rules will vary, contingent on the nature and demands of your business.