Work Perks: Unlimited vacation vs Productivity

There is a tenuous balance that every business organization must face—a positive and relaxing work culture and the need to maximize productivity. Some companies, particularly the more established ones, tend to forego developing a positive work culture altogether and simply expect employees to be the henchmen of the management’s will. This state of affairs is naturally demotivating and these companies have seen a dip in their productivity related to that. Now that even the most ardent Old School business men and women are coming to grips with the benefits of a positive work culture, they are left with the challenge of figuring out how to design a maximally productive one.

A company that provides amazing perks such as unlimited vacation days or a gym on the premises seems to be at ends with a company that is a leader in its field, highly competitive, and extraordinarily productive. This assumption was the working thesis of many businesses until the turn of the century. Companies in Silicon Valley and in tech centers around the world seemed to have blown the lid off of that fallacy. Yet some people still do not believe that if you give employees, say unlimited vacation, that they will become more productive. This belies a mentally of work that posits that we only work because we must in order to sustain ourselves and our families and then to achieve our other priorities. This mentality is usually taken on by demotivated workers and unimaginative managers.

Impact on productivity

Unlimited vacation days will not cause everyone to take off from the company because it is usually a perk that comes from a company that is working to improve its culture. If workers are at a company that respects their opinions by using it in their deliberations, if workers see that there presence has a real impact on the success or failure of a company, they will commit themselves to the company. They will go the extra mile because they understand their place in the firm and they see that it is nontrivial. Bigger companies may have quite a bit of money to spend on talent, yet, each year, hundreds of new startups are born.

Many offer their workers nothing more than a voice for their skills and a promise in equity if they succeed. Yet this is more than enough to get the best talent rushing to assist. This underlies an important reality of companies that have a positive culture that can afford to offer unlimited vacation days, they can do so because workers are committed to the companies mission statement. Companies with working, positive cultures can be compared to a pirate ship. Who would want to go on a vacation day when everyday is an adventure for more treasure and every worker is respected. The old model is more akin to the Titanic where workers should feel that it is a privilege to serve on this “unsinkable” vessel even if they are not respected or listened to and their living conditions are deplorable. When the work culture is positive, unlimited vacations days are not abused, but workers appreciate the possibility to take off whenever they want and understand the responsibility that they have been imbued with.

At Synappse we do everything to keep everyone highly motivated and productive. But don’t take our word for it, see for yourself and get in touch with us – hire the best team.

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