Posted on : September 9, 2016
Views : 1
Category : Career
RIP to the 9 to 5 work day. Kathryn Minshew (CEO of career directory platform The Muse) is pro-unlimited vacation time and offers her employees a 1-month paid sabbatical after five years. How can we all live this dream?
  • Study after study comes out and says that rest, relaxation, recharging is critical to keeping employees creative and engaged, and yet I’m surprised by how many businesses don’t set up their policies in a way that really support that. I can feel the difference in myself when I take adequate time to sleep, to rest, to actually take a vacation every now and then versus when it’s just to go, go, go. And so in terms of policies that I’ve seen the effective obviously there’s a fair amount of the debate right now within the technology communities in particular around unlimited vacation because I think that it can be used for good or for evil based on your situation.
  • The for good is more obvious. These are companies that tell people look, we need you to get your work done; we need you to behave in a responsible manner but we’re not going to be tracking your vacation time. So if you need a Friday here, a Monday there, a half-day here, a week there, go do that. Often the best companies these days are giving guidelines as well. So they’re saying most people take at least two full weeks plus four to eight days throughout the rest of the quarter, et cetera, whatever it is.
  • Companies that have taken it in another direction, we’ve seen companies where unlimited vacation means you can have it whenever you want it but don’t you dare I have it, which I think is incredibly counterproductive, both for retention and just honestly for productivity and creativity and engagement. Some other creative strategies that we’ve seen, I’m a huge fan of sabbaticals. Larger companies have done these for a while; we’re starting to see them among smaller companies. We actually just instituted one at The Muse for us it’s after five years of working with the company we provide either a month paid for an employee to go do whatever they want, or if somebody for whatever reason would prefer it they also have the option of two weeks plus a stipend. I don’t remember exactly what it is but the idea is that it would be enough to take a family on a really nice trip. And the idea is that five years is a long time, that’s a really long time. And I think as an employer if you want to thank and honor and respect that commitment that someone has given to you what better way to do that then to really give them a chance to take a break.