Tech Companies Unlimited Time Off

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Tech Companies Unlimited Time Off

Key Takeaway

  • Grubhub, Hubspot, LinkedIn, and Roku are examples of companies that offer unlimited time off to employees.
  • Facet and Kickstarter are examples of tech companies that previously offered unlimited time off but had to cancel the policy.
  • Companies that offer unlimited time off are often motivated by the need to ensure that their employees have an excellent life-work balance.

Introduction

Grubhub, Hubspot, LinkedIn, and Roku are tech companies that offer unlimited time off to employees. Facet, Tribune Publishing, and Kickstarter are companies that used to offer unlimited time off to employees but have now ditched the policy.

Grubhub

  • Grubhub offers employees unlimited time off for exempt employees and a generous time-off policy for non-exempt employees.
  • Grubhub states that the reason for its policy is that it values and encourages employees to have an excellent work-life balance and to ensure employees have time away from work to recharge and relax.

Hubspot

  • Hubspot states that the reason for its policy is that they think “the very notion that fully formed adults needed permission to leave the office was outdated.” The idea behind this for the company is that employees that get their work done eventually (for example, by working during non-traditional business hours) shouldn’t need permission to take time off.
  • In addition, unlimited time off would make it “significantly easier for employees to build their work around their life instead of having to squeeze their lives in around their work.”

LinkedIn

  • LinkedIn offers unlimited time off to exempt employees, and hourly employees get discretionary vacation time off.
  • In announcing the policy, LinkedIn stated that employees no longer have any minimum or maximum time off they can get, and they simply have to work with their manager to get the time they need.
  • LinkedIn stated that it adopted the unlimited time off policy because it aligns with one of its fundamental values that guides its employees, which is “Act like an Owner.”
  • The company stated that unlimited time off would give its employees flexibility and a sense of empowerment, allowing them to take care of their personal life when necessary so they can bring their best self to work.

Roku

  • Roku states that employees can take as much time off work as they need as long as they get their work done and do not impact team performance.
  • The company states that the reason it offers unlimited vacations is that they believe that employees can be highly productive at work and still have plenty of time for their personal life.

Facet

  • Facet is a company that "provides technical recruiting, staff augmentation, and contract development services for engineering leaders of high-performance software and hardware teams."
  • Facet is an example of a tech company that previously offered unlimited vacation but had to ditch the policy in 2019 after providing it for the previous eight years.
  • The company said it ditched the policy because it was a “scam” as employees end up not using enough vacation time because they are afraid they will use too much and get fired.
  • Facet’s CEO argued that unlimited vacation actually benefits employers as employees can’t claim unused vacation pay ($5,000 - $25,000) for using less vacation time.
  • The CEO said Facet’s employees complained that they were actually taking less vacation than they did in their previous job as they didn’t know how much vacation time was too much.
  • This is also a problem for the employees when their manager is a workaholic, and they do not want to be seen as slackers by their manager and other employees. Hence, they end up taking much less vacation than they need with an unlimited vacation policy.

Kickstarter

  • However, the company ditched the program because it made employees take fewer days off work, and they wanted to ensure that their team is actually able to enjoy a quality work/life balance.
  • The company replaced the unlimited time off offer with 25 days vacation in other to define the appropriate number of days employees can take off and remove uncertainty and confusion caused by its unlimited holiday policy.

Tribune Publishing

  • The above shows that it is important for companies looking to adopt unlimited time off first pay-off employees for any unused vacation in the previous system before transitioning to the new unlimited time-off system.

Research Strategy

To find tech companies that offer unlimited time off, our research team focused on finding tech companies with unlimited time-off policy that satisfy most of the listed criteria. The companies selected were US-based, have over 1,500 employees, offer unlimited time off with manager approval, and two of the companies listed are based outside California. However, we were not always able to ascertain if they had mixed exempt and non-exempt populations and if there was a policy difference for one of the four companies (Hubspot) selected as the information wasn't publicly available. The reason for this is that companies do not generally provide their detailed holiday policy in the public domain.

For companies that previously offered unlimited time off, we were able to find three such companies and have also detailed the reason why they abandoned the policy.
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