3 Reasons Why Unlimited Vacation Is A Brilliant Idea

Laura Vanderkam

A report recently found that America is the only developed nation that doesn't require employers to offer paid vacation. While many employers offer full-time workers two weeks time off, a small, but growing number, including Gallup, Netflix and Hotspot, have stopped tracking time off altogether. Instead they offer a flexible time off policy, essentially allowing employees to take as much paid time off as they need. Is this a crazy idea? Or would it benefit everyone? AOL Jobs contributor Laura Vanderkam, who writes about productivity and time-management, gives her take.

There are some jobs that - for the time being, at least - require someone to be at a certain place at a certain time. Many teaching jobs are like that. Childcare, obviously, requires a proximity to the child at a certain time. Most medical procedures are done in person, and plenty of us who shop still appreciate live clerks who are actually in the store.

But other jobs are not like that. Much information work can be done any time or any where. At least in theory, you should be paid for results, not time spent achieving those results. Sometimes this manifests itself as flexible scheduling. But another interesting approach is to create unlimited vacation/sick day policies.

A recent World-Herald article listed several Omaha-area businesses with such policies, and I'm guessing Omaha isn't the only hotbed of vacation day liberation. I think such policies are mostly smart. Here's why.

More:Company Offers Employees $7,500 To Take Their Paid Vacation


1. Trust is a great motivator. In the absence of real reasons to require someone to be onsite at certain times, limited vacation and sick day policies signify a belief that you think people will behave like truant children if not carefully policed. Sure, some people can't be trusted not to claim