Unlimited Vacations: Too irresponsible?

I am about to begin my third week at my new job with Jet.com and I’m still grasping how they’re able to offer some incredible benefits, most obvious would be the unlimited vacation or paid time off, (PTO). I mean, you’re probably thinking what I am: who does that?! Especially since I already work 4-10’s instead of 5-8’s (4 days a week at 10-hours-a-day), I’m given a 3-day weekend every week so why would I call in other than the occasional sick day or week-long vacation.

So that got me thinking that if I’m not the only one to have this mindset on this combination of 4-10’s with unlimited vacation, am I the one actually getting the “short end of the stick?” The company is still getting 40+ hours of work outta me a week regardless of how many days I actually do work, but since I have a longer weekend than the typical 9-to-5er I feel more refreshed over a longer period of time (at least so far) and I get more done at home with that extra day every week without having to feel like I need more vacations. I don’t have the exact numbers to give you the ROI or the ROBA, but I’d put money down on the unlimited vacation having a better payout than the traditional system. Still, am I more likely not to take time off as compared to the old system?

At least that’s the warning I was given by my friend who has a similar agreement with his company as a new manager, where he can work from home instead of coming into work if it’s convenient yet he feels obligated to come in every day practically (5-6 days a week) and stay longer hours. His advice was to remind yourself to take those days off, at least once every three months otherwise you might get sucked in to becoming a workaholic, (o my!). However, I think personality of the individual in relation to the company has a strong influence on the way the policy is handled case-by-case basis. Usually, we’d hope that at the managerial level everyone is willing to go the extra mile to help do what’s better for the greater good, but my concern would be if the manager thought it was still better for the greater good to work from home instead of coming into the office, what stops them from staying home all the time?

What stops them from staying home all the time?

Granted, the team would most likely recognize this behavior early on with that particular individual and with some appropriate coaching and well-placed “finger wagging” the manager would recognize that their physical presence is required at work for various reasons. And if the behavior continues, maybe a change in policy may be in order? But, I would like to avoid this ultimatum. The respected freedom that comes with this critical responsibility of managing what is a reasonable PTO amount is liberating. With the company respecting the employee enough to bestow the ultimate freedom in time creates a sense of loyalty when the employee knows and feels like that the company does see them as who they are: human with loved ones and outside obligations that force us to have a job in the first place in order to support those obligations. This strategy is being adopted in many up and coming companies deemed to have great cultures, so what would be stopping your company from adopting this policy? Let me know via Twitter (@KaitCook18)!

Photo credit: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjugOmkiqHNAhVK32MKHQ7VCzMQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.teepublic.com%2Fshow%2F439822-fishing-please-hold-im-on-the-other-line&psig=AFQjCNHK2LV7MIvTuo8CQqgrEtVKtsx0Xg&ust=1465772497694465

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