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Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

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    Question Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    As the title states, wondering if anyone works for a progressive Co. that offers "unlimited" vacation time? Had an interview and when the discussion turned to benefits they stated that they had recently adopted "unlimited" vacation time for salaried employees. I've read several articles regarding this practice, I'm of the opinion it's a semi-scam that sounds way better than it actually is in practice / reality

    I feel they say "unlimited" due to the fact a large percentage of employees don't use all of the vacation time they are entitled to currently, so it sounds great as a benefit to employees but doesn't ultimately cost the Co. any additional $$$/productivity in the long run. Obviously there are guidelines: days must be approved by superior, if you take 7+ consecutive days you need to work 20 days before any additional days, meet project deadlines, etc...I'm sure if you abuse the policy it's a negative on your record.

    So just curious if you have this policy at your job how do you like it??

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    Lifer ilikenapalm's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    At one point I had a job that had unlimited sick days. I think I took 7 in one year. It was mentioned in my review. Food for thought.

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    Lifer Not Sure's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    You took 7 sick days in a year or 7 vacation days? Or were they just pooled PTO days?

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    Lifer ilikenapalm's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    Quote Originally Posted by Not Sure View Post
    You took 7 sick days in a year or 7 vacation days? Or were they just pooled PTO days?
    7 sick days. One week of vacation, so 12 all together. There's a reason I don't work there anymore lol.

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    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    I know someone who works for such a place. For them, it's a godsend. They have a 3 year old and it comes in super handy when the kiddo is sick or there is bad weather. Truth told they are a bit of a workaholic and more than makes up for it on nights and weekends. I believe most of that team is the same. My-from afar-interpretation of the way it works is that they don't actually care much which hours per day/week they work, as long as the job gets done. That group is also 60% remote; only goes to the office 2 days/week. They are very good at doing remote meetings and working asynchronously. They put my (tech) company to shame in that respect. They have 100% access to all of the resources they need to get the job done from almost any PC anywhere. There have never been any negative repercussions for taking reasonable amounts of time that I am aware of.

    Meanwhile my company requires everyone be in the same room because we are incapable of writing anything down and the same decision has to be rehashed 2843 times. Half the time I learn about changes in requirements by overhearing others' conversations. My company has pooled PTO and I think it gives people the shaft. I think pooled PTO encourages employees to come to the office when they are sick as hell. Thus spreading their plague and bringing down productivity for everyone. I believe I get simple colds and the flu more often with this pooled PTO company than I did at my last job where there was separate sick/vacation time.

    If we didn't have a liberal work from home policy (off the books, not official company policy) within our immediate team I am pretty sure we'd loose 90% of the parents on our team.

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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    Why the concept of the 40 hour/9-5/shift work concept is not dead yet in intellectual industries is beyond me. I don't punch a clock, and it's a little unclear where the limits are. I'd be happier for sure if my boss would come right out at print in my contract something about time expectations. I push the boundaries at times, and wonder when the shoe will drop.

    A lot of my job can involves thinking, planning, problem solving. If I can do this better while taking a hike, walking along the river, etc. what the hell am I doing in this little office. Wasting time on here that's what! lol.

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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    Agreed. The 9-5 thing is extra awful when living further away from the equator like we do. For nearly half the year we waste some of the best hours of the day sitting under florescent lights, staring at computer screens. Why?

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    Last edited by nhbubba; 09-13-17 at 08:01 AM.

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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    I read shit like this and sometimes think I did it all wrong.

    But then again, sometimes I think I have it made.
    It's all a wash in the end, right?

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    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    ...sometimes I think I have it made.
    It's all a wash in the end, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    I get 5 weeks a year of PTO, I struggle to use it all. I usually don't and there is a push at the end of the year to take as much as I can to minimize the write-off.

    If they offered me unlimited, and that push to "use-it-or-lose-it" went away, I would use less.

    I strongly feel that the unlimited plan is the way to go. No liability on the your balance sheet, the under performers who take advantage will get weeded out, and the hard workers will work more but have this awesome "perk" they can use if needed and brag about to their friends.

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    Last edited by JettaJayGLS; 09-13-17 at 08:21 AM.
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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I think you're doing it just fine, if you're interested in my $0.02.
    At least I have my current philosophies worked out.

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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_E_D View Post
    Why the concept of the 40 hour/9-5/shift work concept is not dead yet in intellectual industries is beyond me. I don't punch a clock, and it's a little unclear where the limits are. I'd be happier for sure if my boss would come right out at print in my contract something about time expectations. I push the boundaries at times, and wonder when the shoe will drop.

    A lot of my job can involves thinking, planning, problem solving. If I can do this better while taking a hike, walking along the river, etc. what the hell am I doing in this little office. Wasting time on here that's what! lol.
    I think the reason so many companies stick with the 9-5 grind is due to poor leadership. If leadership is not capable of structuring the environment in a manner which leverages productivity and performance as a means to keep the team aligned then the result is a bunch of bureaucratic bullshit to fill in the gaps.

    For example: Billy Bob manager can't effectively establish goals for his team so everyone struggles to stay on track and produce results. Instead of improving on his ability to structure his team's function, Billy Bob imposes a bunch of stupid rules such as "you must be here from 9-5 Monday through Friday" to keep everyone in line. Of course these measures don't really work, but now Billy Bob can show his boss he is "doing something about it". Rules like this keep him safe in his job while also allowing him to continue being a shitty leader.

    An ideal work environment starts with well defined and measurable goals. If you can accomplish this then you can determine whether or not the job is getting done regardless of the hours worked or physical location of the team. That being said, when I'm interviewing for a job I put a lot of focus on this aspect (how success is determine and measured) of the role because it often provides some good insight to what the work environment will be.

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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    Hit up linkedin, see if anyone you are connected to is an employee at said location (or a 2nd degree connection with someone you know), ask them what they think of their policy.
    It could be either, they truly are an unlimited place as long as your shit is getting done, or no one takes it and its looked down upon to take it. It could truly be either one, so hearing from someone that works there will be the only answer.

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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    I worked at a place that switched to unlimited while I was there. The work load was high and nobody took their full vacation time anyway (I think we had 6 weeks?). The only thing it really changed was removing the ability to sell back the hours at the end of the year, which sucked. On the other hand it did encourage people to actually take time off because of that, which increases morale. People also stayed home when they were actually sick. They didn't frown at people doing so at all.

    If it's unlimited AND seems frowned upon to actually use it, the company is just looking out for themselves. If you can take time off pretty freely as long as your work is still getting done, it keeps people from getting burnt out which is a nice perk. Totally depends on the culture.

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    Last edited by RyanNicholson; 09-13-17 at 10:02 AM.

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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    my employees seem to have unlimited vacation, yet I haven't taken one in years, although I'm taking quite a few sick days

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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    Quote Originally Posted by BSR6 View Post
    I think the reason so many companies stick with the 9-5 grind is due to poor leadership. If leadership is not capable of structuring the environment in a manner which leverages productivity and performance as a means to keep the team aligned then the result is a bunch of bureaucratic bullshit to fill in the gaps.
    Many companies rely on other companies for portions of their workflow, and their output goes to other companies who also work a 9 to 5 schedule. Having the core of your operation online during that time minimizes lag when issues crop up, etc. "Hitting Goals" doesn't do any good if you don't hit those goals at useful times. Left to my own devices, I do some of my best work late at night from home, but as a whole my company is more productive if I'm in the office when the bulk of the company is there so I can answer questions and tackle issues as they come up rather than when I'm in the mood.

    Obviously this will vary from company to company and job function to job function, but generally speaking there are efficiencies to be gained overall from having unified schedules.

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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    Like a lot of people, I struggle to use all my PTO. If I were in a position to get unlimited vacation time I would probably end up using less than I currently do. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the general philosophy behind the unlimited plan.

    My company used to give us a fixed amount of vacation (based on time with the company) and unlimited sick time for exempt employees. Within the past 3 years, they eliminated unlimited sick time and gave everyone an additional week of vacation and now it's all called PTO. Because I was in the 3 week vacation bracket, I now get 4 weeks of PTO per year (160 hrs.). We are allowed to accumulate up to 1.5 times our yearly accrual amount at any given time so anything above 240 hours is lost in the Ether. We used to only be able to carry over 2 weeks worth of vacation into the following year (with permission) but now we can carry over the full 1.5x amount.

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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurlon View Post
    Many companies rely on other companies for portions of their workflow, and their output goes to other companies who also work a 9 to 5 schedule. Having the core of your operation online during that time minimizes lag when issues crop up, etc. "Hitting Goals" doesn't do any good if you don't hit those goals at useful times. Left to my own devices, I do some of my best work late at night from home, but as a whole my company is more productive if I'm in the office when the bulk of the company is there so I can answer questions and tackle issues as they come up rather than when I'm in the mood.

    Obviously this will vary from company to company and job function to job function, but generally speaking there are efficiencies to be gained overall from having unified schedules.
    Agreed. I'm not so much pitching the "ghost employee" where you work wherever and whenever you want. There always has to be some unity in terms of when people are working. I'm more taking aim at those circumstances where it goes way too far.

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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    I work at a company with unlimited vacation time. Every company is different but I've never had anyone tell me I'm taking too much time, nor have I heard of anyone in that situation. It was nice when i joined and then the following month took 2 weeks to get married without "going into the red". With that said, I probably average about 4 weeks a year which is what I had at my last company, I'm sure if I was taking 8+ weeks per year something would be said.

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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    Quote Originally Posted by BSR6 View Post
    Agreed. I'm not so much pitching the "ghost employee" where you work wherever and whenever you want. There always has to be some unity in terms of when people are working. I'm more taking aim at those circumstances where it goes way too far.
    Like this afternoon for example. I would be more productive if I could go dirt riding before dark.

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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    I work for a company with this policy. We adopted it a year or so ago. One benefit to the company is they reduce a significant "liability" on the financial books, so it looks good to Wall Street. But that's a one-time thing. It also helps the company because if an employee quits or is Termed, there is no payment made to the employee for unused vacation time. But I am in management so my perspective is different than others. It's a benefit to management because I can offer a perk to an employee..."Hey Fred - if you finish your project by the end of the month, then you can take 3 days off to recover".
    You actually got me thinking. I need to compare vacation usage Before and After the policy. I suspect there is no significant difference. Maybe even a little less vacation usage since employees no longer feel they are losing something if they don't take x number of days vacation each year.
    TL/DR - No significant difference with or without the policy. You still have to do your job. But if you leave the company, you don't get any payment for unused vaca time.

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    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_E_D View Post
    Like this afternoon for example. I would be more productive if I could go dirt riding before dark.
    If I could duck out for 2 hours every day to ride my bicycle, I would never question working through the rest of the night. Once you force me to be unable to do what I enjoy, I resent the work. But once you give me the freedom to my personal life, I will work my ass off for you.

    I've found a good mix recently, but its impossible to implement a system that works for everyone.

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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    Quote Originally Posted by JettaJayGLS View Post
    If I could duck out for 2 hours every day to ride my bicycle, I would never question working through the rest of the night. Once you force me to be unable to do what I enjoy, I resent the work. But once you give me the freedom to my personal life, I will work my ass off for you.

    I've found a good mix recently, but its impossible to implement a system that works for everyone.
    "Work hard to play hard" is a phrase I bring up quite frequently where I work. My boss gets it.

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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    I currently have one of those, and it's my second job with that benefit.

    It's pretty sweet, but you have to actually use it. Our CEO encourages everyone to take advantage of it.

    The flip side is that when you leave, you're not getting cashed out on any unused time.

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    Re: Anyone work for an "Unlimited" vacation time company??

    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    I read shit like this and sometimes think I did it all wrong.

    But then again, sometimes I think I have it made.
    It's all a wash in the end, right?
    Every time I think about the money I would be making by now if I stayed in corporate America I feel a little sad. Then I realize we have the best job. Fuck that shit man.

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