Phacility has an "unlimited vacation" policy. In practice, we expect employees to:
- manage their time responsibly; and
- reasonably communicate availability.
This policy creates tradeoffs for employees, discussed below.
An unlimited vacation policy is a mixed blessing for employees, and you should understand how this policy helps and harms you.
State law varies, but when employers offer a specific amount of paid time off ("PTO"), unused PTO often accrues and must be paid out when employees leave the company. An unlimited vacation policy benefits Phacility in two ways as an employer:
- the company does not accrue an unpaid PTO debt to employees (the large amount of cash we would need to pay for unused PTO if everyone quit today); and
- employees are about 5% cheaper if they don't take much vacation, compared to offering 2-3 weeks of PTO.
This latter point harms employees who take relatively little time off by reducing overall compensation compared to traditional PTO.
The goal of this policy is to give employees as much flexibility in managing their own time as possible.
We would like employees to be pretty happy about doing work most of the time, and generally find the prospect of working here forever and then returning as a ghost to continue work eternally to be a relatively appealing one. Providing wide latitude to establish a sustainable and satisfying work/life balance is a devious tactic in service of this goal.
One challenge of an unlimited vacation policy is that it can create an expectation that no one will take vacation because it provides no target amount of time off. We expect you to take a substantial amount of time off, and schedule work (which can usually be flexibly scheduled) around the rest of your life (which often can not).
Sickness, childcare, emergencies, and vacations are all reasonable things to take time off for. Feeling tired, unfocused, hungover, or just having an off day are also completely reasonable. Have company visiting? New puppy? Really into a series on Netflix want to finish watching all 17 seasons in one sitting? All great reasons to take time off.
Employees are still expected to actually do work, not just take vacation. Sorry!
When you are or will be unavailable, you should make a reasonable effort to let others know about planned or unexpected availability.