Kickstarter Nixes Unlimited Vacation Time For Employees

Unlimited vacation, it seems, encouraged Kickstarter employees not to go on vacation.

Kickstarter Nixes Unlimited Vacation Time For Employees
[Snorkel Photo: Cucumber via Shutterstock]

Kickstarter employees are losing what appears to be a perk at first glance: unlimited vacation days. The crowdfunding startup recently changed its flexible vacation policy, according to BuzzFeed News. A Kickstarter spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the company is now capping vacation time at a (still generous) 25 days a year. In making the decision, Kickstarter cited the need for clearer guidelines on how to better separate work time from personal time.

“It’s always been important to us to ensure that our team is able to enjoy a quality work/life balance,” Kickstarter’s spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “What we found was that by setting specific parameters around the number of days, there was no question about how much time was appropriate to take from work to engage in personal, creative, and family activities.”

As BuzzFeed News notes, in cutthroat business environments, unlimited vacation time often doesn’t actually mean unlimited vacation time. Supervisors are likely to look askance at employees who do take extended vacation time, while coworkers might use an employee’s absence to their advantage; there’s also an unspoken rule at many firms that, in exchange for taking vacation time, workers should expect to spend long hours in the office for the weeks preceding and following the vacation.

A number of companies now offer unlimited vacation time to employees: Pocket, Prezi, Evernote, Netflix, and Gusto (the recently rebranded ZenPayroll). But American work culture has changed to the point that some workers feel guilty taking time off. A 2014 Glassdoor survey found the average American employee only takes half of their days off, and 61% report working during their vacations.

[via BuzzFeed News]

About the author

Based in sunny Los Angeles, Neal Ungerleider covers science and technology for Fast Company. He also works as a consultant, writes books, and does other things.



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