Method

Implement an unlimited vacation policy

Created by : Netflix
Last update : July 4, 2018

Obstacle

Many companies can't effectively track how many hours per week their employees are working: they might work at their workplace during the day, later login to their computers to work some extra time at home at night, get some work done on weekends, answer to work-related emails or text messages throughout the day, while also taking an occasional afternoon off if they have something to take care of. In these cases, where the company isn't keeping track of the number of hours worked by each employee each day, it is not coherent to keep track of the number of holidays they take each year. In other words, for a company that doesn't have a fixed number of working hours for its employees, it might not make sense to have a fixed number of vacation days per year.

Solution

In the light of this dilemma, some companies have opted to carry out an unlimited vacation policy. The first one to do so was Netflix, and others include Virgin, Linkedin and Crimson Hexagon. It can also be said that there simply is no vacation policy at all. Here is how it works:

Steps

1

Let your employees go on vacation whenever they want

This is the key principle of unlimited vacation. Employees have the freedom to go on vacation whenever they want, wherever they want, for as long as they want.

2

Employees must only take time off when they know their work is covered

There is a limit to unlimited holidays. It's the employees' decision when and for how long to take holidays, but they must be certain that they have covered their responsibilities and that they are not damaging their teams or the company by going on vacation at any given time. Netflix believes that with autonomy comes responsibility, so they believe that their employees will make the best decisions both for themselves and for the company.


  • According to Netflix' "Reference Guide On Our Freedom And Flexibility Culture": "we should focus on what people get done, not how many hours or days worked. Just as we don’t have an 9‐5 day policy, we don’t need a vacation policy."
  • Virgin Group's founder, Richard Branson, specifies the following: "the assumption being that they are only going to do it when they feel a hundred per cent comfortable that they and their team are up to date on every project and that their absence will not in any way damage the business – or, for that matter, their careers!"

Netflix

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