While some companies are clawing back days off - usually in a conversion to Paid Time Off (PTO) bundles - an entirely different trend is taking hold at pioneering companies: unlimited vacation days.
Netflix, Groupon and Kickstarter are among the tech-savvy companies spearheading this movement.
At cove, a Washington DC shared office space operator, marketing director Erin Gifford said, “We don’t even keep track.”
You want this benefit? Understand: only about 2% of companies offer it, according to estimates by the Society of Human Resource Management. Though some major companies are obviously adopting this trend, many of the others are like cove - a startup or small or both.
Nationally, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), first-year employees average 8.1 paid vacation days. After 25 years, that rises to 17.8 days.
Unlimited is a whole lot more days.
But at least some HR experts think the time may be right for many more companies to embrace this. Matt Cholerton, an HR expert and co-founder of Ping Labs, a performance management company, said, “Savvy employers know that offering unlimited vacation days offers a lot of upsides and while not the norm, is the smarter decision.”
Cholerton elaborated on the big benefits for employers in switching to unlimited vacation days.
“Most plainly, when employees don't accrue vacation time -- as in granting three weeks per year -- then the financial liability of those vacation days is not on the books," Cholerton said. "Employers don't need to be responsible to reserve funds for earned days or pay out employees upon termination. This can be a huge bottom line positive on the balance sheet.”
Cholerton is right. An increasing number of states have voided “use it or lose it” policies regarding vacation days. Companies in those states must track unused days, allow employees to roll over unused days into the next year and compensate employees accordingly when they leave the company.
Know this too: many of us never use all of our vacation days, even in traditional businesses where they are doled out begrudgingly. According to research for Project: Time Off, 41% of Americans do not plan to use all of their vacation days.