From the Blog

It’s time to rethink your traditional vacation policy

We've been talking about this a lot lately. We think traditional work-life balance is dead. This means your traditional vacation policy might be too. Here's what we know.

Employees want time off to recharge:

  • 77% want it
  • 45% get it
  • Those who do are 14% more engaged


Yet they aren’t taking it:

  • 25% of Americans use all of their vacation days
  • 61% report doing work while on vacation
  • On average, employees took half of their eligible time off


Now’s the time to rethink how your vacation policy affects the whole employee. Skimping on time off can increase risk of heart disease and stress, while taking vacation can do wonders – employees come back refreshed, more engaged and even more productive.

To help you promote the whole employee, we've got three progressive ways to give employees the time off they want AND need to recharge: 

PAID Paid Time Off: Paying employees to take paid time off might seem crazy. But some companies, like FullContact, offer employees up to $7,500 in spending money when they take a week off and get out of town – making it pretty hard to stay in the office. Reward employees for disconnecting – not working – while on vacation.

Unlimited Time Off: Tell your employees to take as many vacation days as they want – as long as their work is done before they leave. They’ll need to manage their time both on and off the clock so the team doesn’t suffer while they are away. Employees might surprise you by taking less time off than they would with a set number of days.

No More After-Hours Emails: Just because an employee leaves the office doesn’t mean they leave their work behind with them. Technology makes it even easier to work 24/7 (hello, burnout!). France recently passed a law that bans work email after 6 p.m. – and some American companies are following suit.

It all depends on your culture:

Flexible vacation policies work best in high-performance organizations that don’t require employees to be present at all times. Smaller results-driven cultures may be able to offer unlimited time off, but we realize companies with a large workforce – like retailers or manufacturers – would have a hard time adapting. Whether you can offer these progressive policies or not, do everything you can to encourage your employees to take plenty of time off. They’ll be happier, more engaged and even more productive when they return! A win-win.

Want to learn more? Download our new e-book!

 In our new e-book learn:

  • What the “whole employee” means
  • Why employers must address the whole employee to drive sustained engagement
  • How any company can start driving sustained engagement today — five tips

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Read all of our posts in The Whole Employee series