Unlimited Vacation: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Swimming pool

If your company offered unlimited vacation, would you take more time off? We asked both executives and workers this question and the results may surprise you.

Unlimited paid time off — it sounds like a dream. And it’s a perk more high-profile companies are offering. But what if one day your employer announced that you could take as much vacation as you wanted, assuming your performance didn’t slip. Would you spend less time working?

To my surprise, a majority of executives (72 percent) and workers (56 percent) surveyed by The Creative Group said the amount of vacation they’d take would remain the same if there were no limit to their personal holidays. That’s despite knowing there’s a profound benefit of this perk: Nearly four in 10 executives and workers interviewed believe productivity would increase if an unlimited vacation policy were instituted at their company.

Vacation Infographic

Better in Theory than in Practice?

Perhaps it’s the Paradox of Choice at work: When employees are suddenly free to take time off whenever and for however long they desire, they’re struck by decision paralysis. Or they realize, at the end of the day, work still must get done.

“The idea of unlimited vacation time can be attractive and help staff feel more in control of their schedules. But, in reality, many employees have trouble breaking away from the office no matter what the official policy as deadlines need to be met,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group.

Get a Life (Outside of Work)

Whether you get to take advantage of an unlimited vacation policy or not, it’s important to take periodic breaks from work — or risk burnout. If you want to build in more vacation time, no matter how heavy your workload, consider these blog posts: