Ditch policy for productivity

Imagine a work world where you took as much vacation time as you needed, when you needed it. Fantasy? Not anymore. Influenced by numerous success stories from the dotcom ranks, many companies are ditching vacation policies and giving employees what amounts to unlimited time off. Fast Company writer, Lydia Dishman, says the trend is driving an exponential increase in productivity at some workplaces. HubSpot, ranked the second fastest-growing software company on the Inc 500, has had an unlimited leave policy for two years.  It doesn’t track vacation days, which Dharmesh Shah, cofounder and CTO, says makes it much less stressful to manage.  “Employees take the vacation when they need it and we don’t have a spike of vacations at specific points of time,” Shah says. Fast-growing GoHealthInsurance.com has a similar (non)policy. Senior executive Michael Mahoney contends it enables employees to schedule leave time more strategically, based on their workload. “When you consider when you can best take vacation as opposed to when you must, you end up able to take time off without affecting performance,” he says. Netflix, the giant killer of the home entertainment scene, sees an unlimited leave policy as part of its culture of freedom and responsibility. Its corporate slideshow – a manifesto for Work 2.0 – has become a viral hit. “We don’t measure people by how many hours they work or how much they are in the office,” it says. “We do care about accomplishing great work.” Netflix advises other companies to avoid chaos as they grow by hiring more high-performance oriented people, not imposing more rules. “There is no Netflix Vacation Policy and Tracking”, it says. To drive home the point, there is also no clothing policy at Netflix, “but no-one comes to work naked”.

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