It is likely that the idea of unlimited free time It makes you think of those vacations that last for weeks on paradisiacal beaches and dream cities.
However, the reality is that the promise of free time is not unlimited: this policy allows companies to remove it from their accounting books. a significant cost – not taken vacation days that should be financially compensated for – and prevents many workers from feeling they are owed more than a few days each year.
Companies such as Microsoft and Goldman Sachs are part of a growing list of large firms that have chosen this new policy, which is being seen as a big win for employees, but which various research and corporate experts consider a possible defeat,
Without bosses to encourage them to take vacations, the pressure of not appearing greedy or lazy makes workers not want to take advantage of this “benefit”. To many people it may feel like they are borrowing time instead of enjoying their free time.
For this reason, employees with “unlimited” free time spend less time outside the office than those with a fixed number of days per year. This is confirmed by numerous testimonials of workers, HR reports and a study prepared by Namly personnel management platform in 2022, which calculated With the participation of over 1,000 companies,
Managers who promise their employees unlimited time off should clearly explain how they should manage that time and encourage them to enjoy it. Otherwise, some human resources managers and company managers say that workers would be better off with a traditional policy of vacation days.
associate of ink And Geoffrey James, author of several business books, claims that this policy “Scam of the century”, Referring to his own experience with the practice, he said, “Unlimited vacations are a classic allure.” “Even if you dream of taking a month off, chances are you’ll never work up the courage to do it.”
Without a corporate culture that prioritizes mental health, unlimited free time is meaningless
Neha Khurram, creator of The Hiring Community (a community of founders and recruiters), argues that employees who “benefit” from this policy tend to take less vacation time than those who take a certain number of vacation days. They enjoy numbers and therefore, see them as an advantage that they should take advantage of.
“If a recommended minimum is not established (eg 4 weeks), reminders are not set and a culture of days is not built in (in which, for example, access to email and communication channels is restricted). messaging), employees are unlikely to use all their free time,” Khurram defended business Insider,
Allison Routledge-Perici, Senior Vice President of People at Justworks (an HR software firm), agrees: “Unlimited free time Can serve as a self-care tool and retention for managers and workers, but only if organizations encourage free time within their work culture”.
In addition, there is a problem with employees who do not receive financial compensation for their unused vacation days, which in English is called cashing out (demand).
Some businessmen have realized the shortcomings created by this new system and have shied away from implementing it. Facet, a technology recruiting and networking firm, went back to the traditional leave system after realizing that their employees took fewer days off than before To implement its new policy for the company.
,Unlimited Holidays is a ScamAspect CEO Robert Sweeney noted in a blog post in 2019, when the company canceled the change. “Holidays are not unlimited. If you take too long, you’ll be fired.”
London recruitment company Unknown has canceled its unlimited time off policy in 2021 after it was discovered workers feel guilty And he spent very few days out of office. Instead, the company decided to provide 32 days of leave per year to all its employees.
At the time, Oli Scott, founder and CEO of Unknown, also criticized the policy on his LinkedIn profile: “Humans work best when given clarity, so we’re going to set a specific number of days,” and he Said: “Life is for living. All members of the company shall have the same number of vacation days.”