Unlimited vacation policies are a hot topic of discussion these days, as companies seek to attract job applicants in an improving job market. The policy is still a rare perk — less than 1 percent of companies offer it, according to a 2015 report by the Society for Human Resource Management. However, many experts are starting to see the idea as a good one for both companies and employees.
Vacation policies vary widely from firm to firm, and job seekers might want to check into the benefits a company offers before becoming too serious about a potential job. When looking for an "unlimited" vacation or paid time off perk, note that a company might also call it a flexible, self-managed or personalized vacation policy, according to Fast Company.
All of the companies on this list are at the forefront of what could be a major movement in the future. Employees still have to get their work done, of course, but some companies are finding that employees value the freedom to take personal time off as needed. Click through to see several companies that offer unlimited vacation to employees.
HubSpot makes internet marketing software to help companies draw new customers. In a 2010 blog post, HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan said that watching "Mad Men" made him realize how much corporate culture has changed in the last 50 years, which inspired the company's new vacation policy. With the days of working 9-to-5 in an office long gone, he wrote: "Our new vacation policy is that there is no vacation policy, no paid time off forms, no vacation rollover, nothing. If people want to take time off, they can take time off."
The vacation policy joins a list of other perks, according to the website, including "health Insurance, 401k, tuition reimbursement ... free books and beers, and a 24/7 snack wall to make life a little easier, and a lot more fun.”
Netflix is one of the most well-known companies that has embraced flexible time off. However, the company makes an important distinction between "unlimited" and "flexible" vacation time.
“Netflix does not have an unlimited vacation policy," Daniel Jacobson, VP of Edge Engineering at Netflix, clarified in a 2013 blog post. "We trust our employees and peers to take care of what they are responsible for." He added that as long as employees are getting their work done and communicate well with their team, the company isn't as concerned with how they budget their time.
3. Mammoth HR
If unlimited vacation is the future of work-life balance, then it makes sense that a human resources company is embracing that ethos. Mammoth HR, which provides on-call human resources services, tried this new policy with the intention of evaluating it after a year.
The results were interesting. In a November 2015 article for Fast Company, Mammoth HR's CEO Nathan Christensen wrote that employees didn't necessarily end up taking off more time, but found that its employees valued the policy more because it conveyed the company's trust in the employees and acknowledged their individual needs.
Marketing software company Sailthru provides a platform to help its clients create personalized marketing for customers. The firm has multiple offices in the U.S. and abroad, and says it is growing quickly. Perhaps that’s why the firm offers a generous benefits policy. In addition to unlimited vacation time, the company lets its employees “Work Hard Perk Hard,” with chair massages, snacks in the office, weekly happy hours and weekly catered lunches.
Data analytics company Factual highlights its attractive office locations in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Shanghai. In addition to pool and ping-pong tournaments, catered lunches on Fridays and discounts at health clubs, Factual also “offers a responsible vacation policy — we don’t have rigid limitations on PTO, so employees can take time off in the way that works best for them and their team."
It’s not just big companies that are offering unlimited vacation to employees. Small businesses are getting in on the act, too. Pocket, a content-reading platform company, is a small firm with fewer than 25 employees, but is looking to bring on new help. The company boasts flexible hours and unlimited vacation in addition to equity as perks for its employees.
Customer data platform company Umbel is based in downtown Austin, Texas, and strives to stand out in the famously “weird” city by offering good benefits to its employees. The company says it is “looking for driven, world-class professionals who will fit into our work-hard, play-hard company culture” — and offers unlimited paid vacation, along with many other perks. The company’s approach seems to be working, as it made the Austin Business Journal's 2015 list of Best Places to Work.
ZestFinance is a financial services firm on a mission to modernize underwriting by finding innovative ways to use data to make lending decisions, and to give better lending access to consumers who've been denied credit. The “socially conscious” firm says it offers employees unlimited vacation time, in addition to health care, retirement plans, gym memberships and phone coverage.
Advertising company PaperG says it strives for new ways to help advertisers reach consumers. When it comes to bringing on employees, the company says it hires “for talent, not for position. Our job openings reflect opportunities and skill sets we need to push our mission forward. Regardless of role, you will be challenged to learn, and can make a significant impact on the company.” One way the firm rewards its employees is through unlimited vacation days. In a 2014 blog post, the company also said it offers paid maternity leave.
Textbook company Chegg has expanded its educational offerings into areas such as tutoring and test prep. With that expansion, the firm has had to bring in new talent. To help burnish its credentials with prospective employees, the firm has a simple mantra for its PTO policy. “Our policy is simple, we don't have one. Our employees work with their manager to schedule time off and we don't track it,” according to its website.
Perhaps the ultimate endorsement of unlimited vacation time is the policy of the preeminent website for all things job-related today: LinkedIn. LinkedIn has recently adopted unlimited vacation time for all of its employees, according to Huffington Post. Like with most other companies, employees cannot go to extremes – they cannot take six months off, or adopt a three-day workweek, according to the article.
LinkedIn’s move is a big shift for a company with more than 8,700 employees and two dozen offices worldwide. However, the fact that such a large company is adopting an unlimited vacation policy suggests the phenomenon could become more widely accepted over time.