Sunday, March 18, 2012

Unhappy About Unlimited Vacations

As part of my research for next generation people management software, I spoke to many people about vacation policy. Some companies have a policy of unlimited vacation. I thought that it is a cool idea. Everyone can take a vacation anytime they want as long as their manager and colleagues are fine with it.

To my surprise a former Netflix employee, said that she is unhappy with the unlimited vacations policy. She says unlimited vacation is euphemism for very limited vacation. Employees are always under pressure to work even on legitimate holidays. Initially I thought that the Netflix employee one was an isolated case.

But when I spoke to people from other companies with a similar policy, I learnt that they also hated the unlimited vacations policy. Unlimited vacation policy seems to give too much power to managers. Some managers misuse the power and deny vacations to people. Unlimited vacations do not carry over to the next year. So even those who work hard one year without taking a vacation don't get any benefit. When a person leaves a company, the company owes the person nothing even if they had taken no vacation the whole year.

I think I am happy with a finite number of vacation days.

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