When word got out that Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group had decided to grant unlimited vacation time to some of his employees, the blogosphere went nuts. In fact, many questioned Mr. Branson’s logic and perhaps sanity. Running a multi billion dollar corporation is no small feat and it is safe to say, Mr. Branson, probably applied some sober thought to this decision before embarking on it.
His reason behind this decision can be found on his website. We extrapolated some excerpts from his website, which provides a deeper understanding as to how he arrived as such a decision. “Flexible working has revolutionized how, where and when we all do our jobs. So, if working nine to five no longer applies, then why should strict annual leave (vacation) policies?
In the past few years, Netflix has become the runaway market leader in the streaming video sector. One clue as to how they intend to remain there this time comes from a very well-advised and downright courageous initiative they adopted that rewrote the book – or to be more precise, threw it away – on something very near and dear to the hearts of most workers around the world: their annual vacation day entitlement.”
I first learned of what Netflix was up to when my daughter Holly read a Daily Telegraph article and immediately forwarded the piece to me with a clearly excited email saying, ‘Dad, check this out. It’s something I have been talking about for a while and I believe it would be a very Virgin thing to do to not track people’s holidays.’ She then went on to say, ‘I have a friend whose company has done the same thing and they’ve apparently experienced a marked upward spike in everything – morale, creativity and productivity have all gone through the roof.’ Needless to say I was instantly intrigued and wanted to learn more.”
While it is not possible for many companies to provide unlimited vacation time to their employees there are numerous companies that employ flexible vacation practices. As the saying goes, a well rested employee is a productive employee.