Unlimited time off sounds like a sweet perk, right? In this age of the candidate, with the talent shortage still a top concern for 53% of organizations, benefit packages are competitive. But what does unlimited vacation really mean, and is there a viable way to implement such a liberal policy?
According to Help Scout, there’s no such thing as an unlimited vacation. How could there be? Help Scout points out that organizations would be paying employees who never showed up. Alternatively, employees may be unsure of how much time is appropriate to take off, leading to discomfort and insecurity. They might wonder how much vacation time their colleagues are taking, or worry that the productivity of their teams will suffer in their absence. That’s why Help Scout points out that an open vacation policy doesn’t preclude tracking, manager approval, and using apps like iSolve for a calendar view of time off requests.
The Society for Human Resource Management points out some positive aspects of open or take-what-you-need PTO policies, though, saying:
The pressure to plan and save days is eliminated for workers, while employers are freed from the administrative hassle of tracking time off and the financial burden of paying out unused vacation time.
SHRM also points out the limits of limitless vacation, cautioning that organizations make sure that this type of policy is a culture fit. To find out if unlimited vacation is viable for your organization, check out SHRM’s infographic below.