They then analyzed their people and found that those who did take their vacation performed better than those who didn't.
Subsequently, they wanted to figure out how to incentivize people to take vacation, so they instituted sabbatical pay. Specifically, they pay employees a bonus to take vacation.
In contrast, I work at a startup with unlimited vacation, and plenty of employees are at risk of burnout because they rarely take their vacation -- ultimately hurting the company along with themselves.
This is addition to "unlimited" vacation. I don't tend to account for the shutdowns as coming out of my mental pool of vacation time that I like to take every year.
What people don't usually realise though, is that a shutdowns is very refreshing because you are not missing decisions and meetings etc. It means you can truly disconnect for 2 weeks. When vacationing at other times, the business it leaping forward and like it or not there is a draw to keep a finger on it.
I know this because my wife worked at a "unlimited time off" company, and even though she gave them a heads up before accepting that she took a month or more vacation a year, when she did that they turned around and had an all hands about it was being abused.
My opinion on unlimited time off: if I can't say "I'm taking a year long vacation" you need to give a finite limit. Nom company would agree to this because unlimited time off is deliberately to avoid liability for earned income.
I’m not against untracked time but it needs to be implemented in concert with hard minimums and a culture that is accepting of people taking time off.
What about them. Maybe they are highly productive because they are "part-time"?
Sounds like a good problem to have to me.
It really shouldn’t be difficult to grasp that a full time employee working only part time is a problem, even if they are talented.
If they weren't highly productive, they'd work the 40 hours and not meet their targets. Seems like the same situation except manager wants a butt in a seat.
> Other times they’ll get their parts done but be really har to get a hold of for other employees which might impede them.
Then they aren't really getting them done. There should be docs and enough information for someone else to interact and build off their work. The sync culture of butts in seats promotes high levels of tribal knowledge and over the mid to long run hurts velocity.
> Sometimes you’ll just have issues with other employees being angry that they seemingly make the same but put in a lot more effort which tanks the moral of all the other employees.
I gotta say, too bad for them. This comes from a butts in seats culture, which will drag everyone down to be the lowest common denominator.
You'll have a department where you have 90% normal devs, and 10% high productivity (per hour) devs. Force those 10% to be butts in seat and they are gonna go somewhere else.
Or browse hacker news all day. :)
If the company hired a highly capable employee by accident, or the employee deliberately took a low-salary low-expectation position to "coast" in, then maybe this line of reasoning holds up.
I feel like my point is, if you're gonna want hourly work, pay for hourly work.
Take this scenario, I'm a highly productive dev. I work 5 hours a day and I'm burnt. But my manager makes my sit my butt in a seat for 8 hours. "Fine, whatever" I say.
Now crunch time comes and I'm pushing hard to 10 or more hours a day. I'm going to look back at the wasted time before in my seat with resentment. Because it's expected of me to give you more hours than my alotted 40 when the time comes, but when it's light I don't get to take that back.
I only have so much active problem solving per day. I can spend it all quickly then go do something recharging or sit around forcing focus and resenting the fact that I have to look busy for 8 hours a day.
The only problem it solves is burned out employees, and I would argue that it doesn't even fix that problem. The reason is that you can't force people to take their minds off work, even if you force them to not physically be at work.
This seems like a non problem to me.
Everybody hated that too. Being forced to take time off when you didn't particularly want to, and not being able to "save up" enough vacation for a really good ling trip away...
And, of course, those rules were regularly "bent" when it suited management, but rigidly enforced otherwise...
(We typically accrue 20 days per year here in .au, so that pretty much means after 18 months, if you haven't taken any vacation at all yet, you need to take at least a week off in the next three months, and a week off every three months thereafter.)
As Japanese workers are famous for not using all their paid leave, and if they do it is in half days here, this is a nationally mandated way to make sure that everyone gets at least a few days off a year.
Worse, I had a candidate whose wife was worried that was what it really meant (games industry, horrible QoL in most cases). Luckily he brought it up that way, and as this was an internal referral we had her call people she knew already in the company to verify that we weren't jerks.
But coordinating with family, stuff that comes up and so on.. this is the first year I've not spent 3 days from my (not unusual for Germany) 28 days from last year and have to take them before the end of March so they don't get lost... In other years I had 30 and could've easily used 10 more.
TLDR: I prefer the German model of 24-33 days and you're encouraged to take them. Wouldn't hurt to increase the number, as long as they're really taken 90% of the time.
Folding sick leave and holidays together is weird IMHO, as you personally don't control the first, but do control the second.
Not only that, but couching pro-worker policies in terms of benefits for ownership obscures the issue, and implicitly makes the argument that we should only have pro-worker policies when they are also pro-ownership. That's nonsense, since there are millions and millions of workers and we ostensibly have a democracy.
Obviously, I as the employee have to put in the request for that, and it 100% depends on the company if they actually care enough about labor laws to force/enable me to do so.
But ultimately I think it's culture as much as policies. The US, and lesser extent the UK, has a culture of submitting to work over life (as do other countries, so not singling out the US or UK here). In the UK I had to nag people to take holidays and there was usually a holiday crunch at the end of the year when lots of people took time of just because they had to.
Whereas, living in Norway now, the Scandinavian ethic of maintaining a good work/life balance means there's not really a problem of people not using all their holidays. Or work much overtime either.
I don't understand miscommunications like this between employer and employee.
I think the employer needs a more specific solution than "unlimited vacation" if the concern about fixed-allowance leave was a lack of flexibility for shit-happens situations.
I'd be curious about "compensated for work done".