Richard Branson Announces Unlimited Vacation Policy for Virgin Staffers
If the 9-to-5 workweek is a paradigm of the past, then why do so many businesses still cling to outdated vacation policies? That is the question posed by Richard Branson in an excerpt from his new book, The Virgin Way, where the billionaire announces that staffers at Virgin's U.S. and United Kingdom headquarters will now receive unlimited vacation time -- provided, of course, that they get their work done.
The practice is not a new one. Branson says he was inspired to adapt unlimited vacations after hearing of a similar policy at Netflix, which, in 2010, allowed salaried employees to take time off whenever they wanted, without prior approval and without their hours being tracked.
While technology has made remote work a cinch and has also made certain staffers reachable around the clock, Branson concluded that, at the end of the day, completed work was a healthier focus than the number of hours clocked.
But the critical assumption behind the policy, Branson notes, is that employees will only take off "when they feel one hundred percent comfortable that they and their team are up to date on every project and that their absence will not in any way damage the business -- or, for that matter, their careers."
An unlimited vacation policy, which has been adapted by other notable startups like Foursquare and Tumblr, can have both positive and negative ramifications, experts say. While some managers fear that such programs tempt a catastrophic free-for-all, others have found that vacation time actually increases very little upon institution.
Branson, for his part, hopes the policy will be a boon to morale, creativity and productivity at Virgin's parent companies. "Assuming it goes as well as expected," he writes, "we will encourage all our subsidiaries to follow suit, which will be incredibly exciting to watch."
Related: Richard Branson Gets Into Carpooling
Entrepreneur Editors' Picks
How an Encounter With the 'Armpit of Destiny' Helped the Founder of Grubhub Take His Business From His Apartment to a $2 Billion IPO
You Can Train Your Brain to React to Stressful Situations Better. Here's the 3-Step Process.
A Disastrous Valentine's Day Inspired This Founder to Launch Her Own Floral Brand. It Became a Celebrity Magnet With Retail Revenue Up 450% Since 2019.
What Is Your Dream Job? Ask Yourself These 4 Questions to Find Out.
This Is the Crazy Process This Juice Franchise Went Through to Get USDA-Certified Organic. But It Sure Has Paid Off.
No One Would Rent Me a Café in Trendy NYC Neighborhoods, So I Tried Something Risky. Now I Have 3 Coffee Shops.