Recreating Vacation Time

Why Unlimited Vacation Policies Fail

There are two key reasons why unlimited PTO fails:

Why We Don’t Need Unlimited Vacation

The trouble, however, is that many of the established vacation systems are problematic for other reasons that are solved by having unlimited vacation.

A Sample Solution

The best vacation plan I’ve seen to date belongs to Partner’s Healthcare, which I enjoyed when I worked at Massachusetts General Hospital in the mid-00’s. Employees accrued PTO at a weekly rate (at my level, ~29.5 days off per year), which could be used on any day. There were no automatic days off, though, so those who didn’t want to work on a federal holiday had to take the day off. All accrued time carried over, could be [partly] cashed out once it reached a certain balance, and was paid out in full if you left the company. This works well for a healthcare system that needs to be running 24/7/365, and given that technology allows most companies to be up and running all the time, this system can apply readily to other companies.

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Self-actualization engineer who makes workplaces great places to work. PI at Quality of Life Lab (www.qllab.org). Consultant. Professor. Startup Advisor.

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Orin Davis

Orin Davis

Self-actualization engineer who makes workplaces great places to work. PI at Quality of Life Lab (www.qllab.org). Consultant. Professor. Startup Advisor.