Some companies are offering “unlimited vacation days” to attract talent. This means you are not limited to 2-4 weeks of paid time off in these jobs. You can take as much as you want!
This is an unusual offering in the United States where the government does not require private companies to offer any vacation time or paid parental leave. Perhaps this is why it makes some private companies so attractive.
However, people who have “unlimited vacation” don’t seem to be taking full advantage. A 2018 study found that people who had this perk took fewer vacation days on average than employees with traditional vacation allowance.
Why? As one employee put it: “Unlimited vacation is great, but not spending your whole day back from vacation going through Slack messages and emails is even better.”
One software company in Indianapolis solved this by setting a minimum vacation allowance. Employees must take at least 20 days off per year in order to avoid burnout. Another company offers employees $1,000 bonuses to take five consecutive days off. Another asks employees to sign out of mobile accounts during PTO so that they aren’t tempted to read emails and respond to messages.