Time off

I'm not going anywhere, but yesterday the following article was thrown under my nose:

Unlimited Vacation Doesn't Create Slackers -- It Improves Productivity

The base premise is very roughly:

If you let employees take the time they need, when they need it, they'll perform better than if you tracked (and metered) the time they are allowed to take.

True, dat. My last three jobs:

  1. Current Job: Unlimited time off
  2. Last Job: 5 weeks of vacation a year, 3 weeks sicktime.
  3. Last +1 Job: Seniority based vacation times, starting at 2 weeks vacation + 3 sick, topping out at 5 weeks vacation + 3 sick for 20 year veterans.

Since my previous two jobs tracked time, both of them had the phenomena of 'use it or lose it' for when you hit the max time carry-over. Last +1 was December, Last job was at your hire anniversary. The fact that people were hitting their carry-over max shows that they were not using all of the vacation allotted to them (or alternately, were consciously building up a severance-pay pad due to vacation cash-out).

And I must say, when you work some place that's "hey whatever" about hours you get less stressed about work. And you also are tempted to 'work' outside your normal bounds. The article mentioned studies that show people working 'from vacations' or suchlike. They're out of the office (yay!) but still being productive. A win for the company, and a win for employee agency.

However, having lived with 5 weeks of vacation a year (or as I've called it in the past, "five freaking weeks of vacation.") the effect is almost the same as unlimited. You just take time off when you need it and don't sweat it. When your carry-over hits max, that's when the differences show up; we had people take two week 'call me if you need me, I'll be around,' vacations just to burn it off.

As a highly paid IT professional, I've shown I have sound judgment. It's nice that my employer recognizes that and treats me like I can be trusted with company-time management.

Also, the "Fool's Errand" idea is genius. I'll have to see if we can do something like that at work.