Open-ended time off?

(Image is from Internet. Golden Gate Bridge)

This article of introduced a new trend in high-tech, professional services, and other white-collar employers – unlimited vacation.  This policy was first introduced by a few companies in the 1990s, but in recent years, it gained momentum.

Under this policy, employees get no official limit of vacation time, but they had to get their time off approved, and make sure things go smoothly white they are away.
Employers promote this policy because it reflects how liberating their workplaces are. With this policy, they expect to achieve the flexibility of “work anywhere, anytime” in order to lower their employee turnover.  Some employers go even further by offering employee two-week must-have vacations through lottery drawing.

On the employees’ side, the reactions to this policy are different.  For some, they enjoy the open-ended time off by taking four to five weeks vacation a year. For the
others, they have several concerns:  they worry about the unusual workload when they are back from vacation; they think it is better to have face time because they don’t want to be the next one to be laid off when the companies downsize again.

In fact, Americans have trouble taking time off even when they are assigned a certain number of days off. According to a survey, only 38% of American employees use all their allotted vacation time.  On average, workers take 14 of 18 days permitted.

Our company applies fixed number of days off policy.  It also indicates which holiday should be observed and when will be the floating days in order to fulfill 12 days holiday a year. But as I watch my co-workers, I found that even under the fixed time off policy, they take vacations very flexibly.  For example, one of the coworker is a guitar player in a well-known rock band, and he has a lot of annual performances, so he takes no-pay leaves.

For myself, I usually don’t take leaves except it is absolutely necessary.  The result is that I feel life is kind of boring.  For a very long time, I plan to take a short break though, to somewhere not very far, about 4-6 hours drive.  Our current pick is golden gate bridge in N. California.  We heard that the view is wonderful.


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