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I want to add value to your life even if you don’t use my formal services. This is a place to read about thought provoking questions, hear people’s stories, and get my take on some career search best practices. I hope you find it useful.

The Dark Side of Unlimited Vacation

When I vacation, I like to get away from everything. Sometimes that just means not bringing my laptop, sometimes that means going places with no reception.

When I vacation, I like to get away from everything. Sometimes that just means not bringing my laptop, sometimes that means going places with no reception.

Companies struggle to find and attract good talent. One of the ways they have tried to persuade talent to join their teams is through an array of creative perks that seemingly benefit the employee — everything from nap pods and game rooms, to fully stocked bars and free lunches, to, the subject of this article, unlimited vacation time.

I mean wow…I can take as much vacation as I want every year. That is amazing. However, the truth is very few people will take proper advantage of the opportunity. Most will end up taking less vacation. The reason why is simple:

When your vacation balance is “zero days” (the way it always is when you have unlimited vacation), you are not inclined to think you deserve a vacation. Conversely, when your vacation balance is ever increasing, you begin to realize that you do need a break and are more willing to step away from the office to recharge.

As a consultant focused on helping companies create and sustain good teams, I caution companies against giving unlimited vacation time. The make it harder for employees to achieve work-life balance, which means when they are at work, they’re more fatigued and less engaged. Promote their well-being by giving them earned time off.

If you want to strategize creative solutions for your company’s vacation policy, let’s chat.

David Endean