Unlimited Vacation Time Sounds Great, But Americans Still Don't Want It

Being able to set your own vacation time sounds pretty great, right? Too bad most Americans won't actually take that time off, even if encouraged and entitled to do so.

The work still has to get done, right? That, and nobody wants to look like a slacker. These two factors, and our notoriously hectic, rat-race work culture, might be why Americans leave about 429 million paid vacation days on the table every year. Europeans, understandably, think we're crazy.

Despite that, some companies like Netflix, Shopify and Virgin are still axing their vacation policies in hopes of increasing employee satisfaction.

At Logos, a firm specializing in Christian software, employees have complete discretion over sick days, holidays and vacation time. As President/CEO Bob Pritchett explains in a news release, "We have great employees and want to keep them happy. Long policy documents don't make people happy; trusting people and giving them autonomy makes them happy."

"When you give great people exciting work, you don't need policies to tie them to their desk."

In theory, that's totally true - but some criticize such "no vacation" policies as passive-aggressive, and putting too much pressure on workers to decide their hours. The data is clear, however: proper vacation time increases overall employee productivity.

So listen up, managers: when it comes to taking time off to recharge, it's your job to lead by example.


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