Turns out you don't need to be afraid of letting your subordinates get paid to do nothing!

Company Culture Vacation Prep or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Unlimited PTO

By Catra

Turns out you don't need to be afraid of letting your subordinates get paid to do nothing!

As I'm sure you're all well aware, many employees long for paid time off. Whether to deal with an illness that's interrupting their grind or to see their family, Gen Z is becoming increasingly picky about where they work, with paid time off being an important consideration for attracting top talent, and unlimited paid time off being a magnet for the 10xers who can take your executive compensation packages to the next level.

The problem, of course, is that employees who abscond from their duties to the workplace, especially those who take more than a couple days off in a row, are rarely prepared for what happens while they're gone, and have to waste time catching up when they return. Recruiting and retaining top talent is important, but you can't let your leash on them get too loose, either, or you'll surely fall behind in all your KPIs.

To tackle this recurring problem, I've started giving them 'Vacation Prep,' a system of packets and papers sent to them daily which they have to complete so they can stay on top of what they missed. Of course, this may limit where they can go, as they have to have an internet connection they can use to complete their Vacation Prep Package each day, but employees must understand that they get paid for work, not for goofing off. If they wanted to avoid doing any work, they should've put in a request for unpaid time off.

You may be wondering how Vacation Prep affects employee morale. Well, I am happy to report that because all Vacation Prep is intended to be done in 8 hours or less, they have an entire 16 hours to themselves every day, and thus have no reason to be anything less than grateful for my generosity. In fact, if an employee so desires, they can work remotely under our unlimited PTO system, so long as the quality of their work remains just as high as it was in the office. Working remotely is another major advertising point for our recruiters, of course, and implementing this system has increased the number of applicants we receive for our openings.

But not only has our new Vacation Prep system allowed us to offer unlimited PTO and remote work, it also reduces our non-monetary compensation expenses, as our health benefits have been strategically chosen to only cover providers near our headquarters. The employees who have taken advantage of our new remote work policies outside the state cannot use our health, dental, or vision plans unless they feel like moving closer to the office, which means they can choose between a tighter leash and higher healthcare expenses.

I know this all sounds so smart, but it's really just common sense when you think about it. Everyone has work to do, but on vacation, they have tons of free time, so why not let them use that free time so they're not having to scramble to catch up when they return? And if they so desire, why not let them make their vacation permanent and work remotely with none of the benefits? It's a win-win for everyone involved!