Branson introduces 'no policy' vacation

Peter Thomson's picture

Sir Richard Branson has drawn quite a bit of media attention by introducing a 'no policy' vacation scheme for the Virgin parent company in the UK and USA. As he says in his blog "Flexible working has revolutionised how, where and when we all do our jobs. So, if working nine to five no longer applies, then why should strict annual leave (vacation) policies? "

He was prompted to do this by his daughter who picked up the idea from an article about Netflix. They have led the way in measuring people by results and we use them as an example in the book. Here is what we say about their vacation policy (or lack of it!):

"Until 2004 Netflix had the standard vacation policy with a set number of days per year. Interestingly, it was an individual employee who pointed out that they did not track hours worked per day or per week, so why were they tracking days of vacation per year? This led managers to conclude that they should focus on what people get done, not how many days are worked. So the policy now is that ‘there is no policy or tracking’. They make clear that no vacation policy does not mean ‘no vacation’. They say that Netflix leaders ‘set good examples by taking big vacations – and coming back inspired to find big ideas’."

 

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