Is Unlimited Vacation a Good Thing?

With a number of companies beginning to offer unlimited vacation time, Alison Lobron of The Boston Globe asks whether unlimited vacation is really a beneficial perk for employees.

Because of technology’s reach, some activists rightly worry that “unlimited vacation” is nothing more than corporate-speak for “no vacation at all.” They worry that employees without a specified vacation allotment will feel pressure to work constantly, damaging their relationships, their health, and the nails on their BlackBerry-typing fingers. Bonnie Michaels is a board member at Take Back Your Time, a nonprofit organization focused on work/life balance. She has no problem with informal vacation policies, so long as managers create a culture where employees really can take breaks. “People are always afraid of taking time off if everybody else isn’t doing it,” says Michaels. A recession can compound that problem. When people feel insecure about their jobs and their wallets, “they probably won’t take the time,” she says.