October 5, 2014

Unlimited Vacation And Other Cool Perks

Do you dread going to work each day? Are you suffering from burn out? It’s a common condition for hard working people. Maybe you need to look for a new job? Or maybe you just need a vacation?

Americans work longer and harder than the rest of the world. On average, workers in the US are at the office more hours, take less vacation, and sleep fewer hours than other countries. Most Americans only get 7 hours of sleep. Forty percent of Americans don’t’ even use their vacation days! It makes the US one of the world’s strongest economies, but it also means we suffer from burnout.

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Vacations are meant to refresh, energize, and boost your morale. They are a much needed part of working life. Yet, the high pressure environment of the workplace means people fear that taking a well deserved vacation will mean they get left behind or may even lose their job. Vacations are meant to keep you sane and that’s why many cool companies are changing their policies. Let’s take a look at a few vacation-oriented companies…

According to Slate.com, Jason Freedman of 42Floors, recruits hard working employees. He doesn’t want a washed out employee to leave one company on Friday and start a new job on Monday. Instead, 42Floors mandates that new employees take a two-week vacation before they even start their job. It’s called the “pre-cation.” It started with one employee and is now a company wide policy. It’s designed to give new employees a fresh, rejuvenated outlook on their new job.

Recently, Richard Branson’s Virgin Group decided to offer unlimited vacation to its employees. Yes you read that correctly, unlimited vacation! The thought here is that employees can do whatever they want as long as they get their work completed. With a perk like this, employees will be more passionate about their employer and their career because it offers them the flexibility to do what they want. No one wants to lose a job like that, so they’ll do their best to keep it.

But Virgin Group and 42 Floors aren’t the only ones with a modern look at vacation. Employers like Atlassian, Zynga, Groupon, Glassdoor, Evernote, VMware, HubSpot, Ask.com, Motley Fool, Eventtbrite, ZocDoc, and SurveyMonkey also offer unlimited vacation days, according to Business Week. Other cool companies offer great perks too. Quirky shuts down all operations during slow seasons. FullContact pays employees $7500 to take time off once per year and does not allow any contact with the office. Netflix doesn’t track vacation days. EverNote requires employees to take at least 5 days off in a row and travel.

Are these companies successful with these policies? So far they are. Pre-cations and unlimited vacations doesn’t mean that you never have to work. Your job is still reliant on producing work and results. These policy just allow you to stay energized. With more free time and flexibility you’ll be more passionate about your employer and your life.

It’s also important to note that with technology you will always be somehow connected to work, even if you are on vacation in some far flung locale. Cool perks and benefits are there for employees to take advantage of, but if they get abused, they will be taken away. Treat unlimited vacation with respect and it will boost your productivity and happiness in a way you can’t even imagine.

Perks and benefits of a company can go a long way. Always read the fine print in your job offer. It doesn’t always come down to just salary. Learn about other great job perks here.

Unlimited vacation is a reality for certain jobs in certain companies. If you’re a vacation fiend, then start your job search with some of these cool employers. It might be the best thing you ever do.

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