I was reading some articles on social media today and stumbled upon one of those "other readers found this interesting" articles called "Give Your Employees Unlimited Vacation Days" written by Joe Reynolds of Red Frog Events, an event production company located in Chicago.
The article discusses a new way of thinking about employee relations. His article shares a similar method discussed in the book Drive, written by David Pink, as a way of motivation 2.0. His reasons to offer unlimited vacation days are:
1. To treat them like adults who know they have responsibilities
2. Reduces PTO tracking costs
3. Shows appreciation
4. Great recruitment tool
For me, point one is the biggest factor. By doing this, employees are treated with respect. In my current position, I feel I have poured so much of myself into a role to only feel slighted by getting 12 PTO days my first two years of employement. I finally got 17 this year as I have now been here for three years. I know that the College makes up for it by giving us an additional 12-13 days off for some federal holidays and Christmas break.
I am truly thankful for all those days off, but I am so envious of those living in Europe who get paid vacations as a way to support employees. No, I don't work 8 - 5pm each day. Some days I work a lot more. I even work many weekends, and despite being on holiday, I still check my email and work. I do this partially because I feel I need to do extra work (in order to manage my heavy workload), but also because I enjoy what I do. It would be nice to see this rewarded by unlimited vacations.
I don't think that I am disrespectful enough to abuse this service. I love the place I work, the people I get to work with, and the lessons I am learning while here. If I didn't, I would try and leave because I don't find it fair to stay at place you don't respect.
I also know what needs to get done in my office and by what time. If I can manage a few extra days off after a busy period, I don't feel I should have to be concerned about lack of vacation days. Currently, I know of days that I have been in the office but haven't been super productive due to being worn out and exhausted due to life, work, big projects, my master's, etc. If I had just taken a day or two off to recuperate and rejuvenate, how much more productive would I have been over a span of three days instead of two mediocre days of minimum productivity?
Red Frogs also seems to have a long list of other benefits for their employees that are well, frankly amazing. You can see them by visiting their website. A paid sabbatical after five years, 100% healthcare coverage (including dental), 12 weeks PAID maternity leave, free meals after 7:30pm, etc. What a great opportunity...This company has many different benefits. They even have a policy to only hire from within so the way into this company is only through starting in their internship program. Don't worry, it is paid. However, they don't have many openings for those interns to step into.
Overall, employees needs to feel respected and trusted. If giving unlimited vacation days is one "free" way to do it, then I think it should be implemented. I know I would love to work at a place like and I know many others who feel the same way. Perhaps this should be something that is examined across the globe...they can start here at my place of employment..