Workers in Poland and the UK enjoy the most vacation time, while the United States, China, and Canada are offered the least amount. UK workers are guaranteed a minimum of 28 days off per year. While the UK already enjoys an above average holiday schedule, some companies offer unlimited vacation time. Is this policy the ultimate workers’ paradise, or an employee nightmare in disguise? It really depends how the company handles the policy.
Work cultures that offer unlimited time off can be high pressure and result only working environments. You are expected to produce the desired results whether you are in the office or travelling with the family. Since the jobs market is tight many employees want to ensure they remain employed and will bring work with them while on holiday.
According to Mercer, even though the economy remains sluggish the interest in balancing life and work continues to grow. Companies recognise that happy and healthy employees are more productive than stressed and burned out workers. Since many companies are only handing out low raises, if any at all, they are looking for other ways to motivate employees, such as implementing flexible working hours and unlimited time off.
While being able to vacation when you want sounds like a dream come true, is it really? It really depends on the company and its culture. For example, often people dread going back to work after a vacation, because they know nobody has been doing their job while they were away. This work culture can force employees to bring work with them on vacation, which is not really leisure time at all.
On the other hand, there are ways to make unlimited time off work for both companies and employees. Apolinaras Sinkevicius, director of operations at Pixability does not want his employees working long sustained hours without a break, because long hours translates into mistakes and lowers product quality. To force his workers to take more time off Mr. Sinkevicius introduced a new policy. Any worker who takes ten consecutive days off is offered an additional two weeks of vacation time.
This policy works for the worker and the company. The employee gets the down time he needs to recharge his batteries and the company gains because it forces managers to cross train employees. No worker becomes indispensable. The worker returns from vacation refreshed and is not faced with an avalanche of work waiting for him, because his back was covered. The company gains because the worker will be renewed and more productive.
Another way companies make the unlimited time off policy work is by holding monthly raffles. The winner is forced to take a week off, and then must tell everyone what he did on vacation. This forces the employee to do something interesting. After all nobody wants to come back and say they watched TV for the week.
Unlimited time off if not handled correctly means employees are working when they should be on vacation. This is because many companies offering unlimited time off thrive in a results only culture. Many workers dread coming back from vacation because they know a mountain of work awaits them. However, companies who cross train employees create a culture where workers can actually enjoy their leisure time, because the person on holiday knows their work is being done. When the holiday ends they are ready to go back to work, because are well rested, and more productive as well.
About the Author:
How2become was established by Richard McMunn in 2005, who was working as a Fire Officer for Kent Fire & Rescue Service at the time. Since writing his first book, how to become a firefighter, Richard has gone on to author various titles spanning across multiple careers . The company has grown and developed into the UK’s leading careers information and development website. Connect with How2become on Facebook