I might have whined a little about how busy December is in my last post, but nobody feels it more than Santa and his elves. It’s non-stop, around the clock for them as they work to bring joy to the boys and girls all over the world. It’s quite the operation. But today, on the 26th, all North Pole personnel are enjoying some well-deserved myTime – I know because I heard for myself when I visited last week. Pictured is proof of a friend and me posing with Rudolph and a few others on the sleigh team.

Unlimited vacation and why it's awesome

Kronos is one of the cool companies offering employees unlimited vacation. Here – and at the North Pole – we call it myTime, which is simply open time off. What this means is that employees are not bound by traditional set-in-stone vacation periods or held back by having to accrue time. Instead, vacation is limitless. Our CEO, Aron Ain, discusses the choice to move forward with this policy and its impact on the organization in the Harvard Business Review article The CEO of Kronos on Launching an Unlimited Vacation Policy.

While the switch in policy did lead to some initial rumblings, I absolutely love it. Here are four (personal) reasons why it’s so great:

  1. Family first – Aron is a strong advocate for prioritizing family over business, and myTime plays into that philosophy. It’s great to know that if something comes up and I need to take time to be with my family, I don’t have to worry about the number of days left in my vacation bank. Putting family first is important to him, and that makes me feel comfortable following that model myself.
  2. Empowered – I feel empowered to make my own decisions about my schedule and do what works best for me. This may be a simple privilege, but it’s a really rewarding feeling.
  3. Work-life balance – Because I’m empowered to make these decisions, I have the flexibility to achieve a balance between my personal and professional life that I deem most fitting. It removes the pressures that simple life events like visiting the dentist or going to the RMV can sometimes trigger.
  4. Engaged – If I need a personal day, myTime encourages me to take it. There’s no need to “save up” days for planned time off, so why not take some me-time when I need it? These occasional recharge days can be just as important for keeping employees happy and engaged in their work as more lengthy vacations.

I understand that this approach doesn’t work for everyone – like for organizations in healthcare or retail, for example – but it’s certainly an attractive benefit to offer employees when feasible. Check out more about uncapped time-off policies via the Workforce Institute Radio podcast Are You Ready for Unlimited Vacation Time? and hear Aron speak about it on NPR!

Published: Tuesday, December 26, 2017