While some major corporations are offering unlimited vacation policies to show their commitment to employees’ work/life balance, one fundraising giant has done an about-face — and not for the reasons you’d think.
Kickstarter, the largest fundraising platform for creative projects, just announced that it has dropped the most flexible benefit of all: Its unlimited vacation policy. Kickstarter has decided to cap vacation time and, moving forward, it will offer employees a maximum of 25 day of vacation time per year.
No specific parameters
So was workers’ excessive vacation negatively impacting Kickstarter’s bottom-line and ultimately to blame for the death of the stand-out perk? Actually it was quite the opposite.
Giving workers the complete freedom to take as much time off (as long as their work is done) actually caused them to take less time off. Reason: Without clear parameters, employees were unsure just how much time they were supposed to be taking off.
Kickstarter’s spokesperson explained the policy change to BuzzFeed by stating:
“It’s always been important to us to ensure that our team is able to enjoy a quality work/life balance. What we found was that by setting specific parameters around the number of days, there was no question about how much time was appropriate to take from work to engage in personal, creative, and family activities.”
40% fail to take advantage
It makes sense that an unlimited vacation policy would fall flat in today’s work environment. After all, many employees fail to take full advantage of the standard two week’s vacation they’re allotted. In fact, nearly half (40%) of U.S. workers don’t use all of their paid vacation days, according to 2014 Project: Time Off study by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications in conjunction with Oxford Economics.
The study also found there’s been a gradual decrease over the last two decades in the amount of vacation time employees actually used.
If you notice certain workers aren’t using any of their vacation, it may be a good idea to pull that person aside and stress how the company encourages vacations to improve health and job performance.