Can implementing a unlimited holiday policy really help your employees mental health and boost productivity?
“Unlimited holidays? Pft, they’ll never work again! I’ll never work again!” Screams George from HR, but little does he know this scheme will change the workplace as we know it.
The discussion surrounding unlimited holidays is louder than ever, and workplaces are increasingly adopting this new scheme, but why? And how do we know that our employees won’t all pull a George and go on a 365-day break?
Because of trust and autonomy.
This rising holiday allowance, or lack thereof, allows staff to take as much leave as they’d. This allows them to rest and take time for themselves outside of the workplace. The view is that a capped allowance could be detrimental to employees' mental health. The theory is that offering employees the trust to take time off without a cap, will increase mental health and boost employer-employee relationships. A win-win.
Gone are the days of holiday related anxieties; there's now no need to worry about running out of annual leave and losing pay if you take any more time off. Or having to put in a request whenever you need a break – making your own time to be under the watchful eye for the rest of your days. And of course there's always the risk that your leave is rejected
Even worse, potentially getting your leave rejected when you most need it.
Because why should you have to ask permission for limited you time?
Of course, there must be some sort of line, but we’re talking minimum here. With mental health awareness rising over the years, employers are looking for ways to put employee wellbeing at the top of their list. Employees are also now expecting more from there employers, and are less willing to accept lip service.
One idea is to set a minimum amount of days that employees need to take off in order to prevent burnout and work-related issues. Employers also need to be able to create an environment where mental health can be discussed freely. This is absolutely fundamental.
This scheme is just hitting the UK, after seeing rising popularity, and most importantly, success, within the US. Across Europe many countries also operate on a more relaxed annual leave strategy.
It has shown employees to be more productive, meeting their targets easier and working more efficiently in order to feel like they deserve the extra time off. Employees are also likely to feel a bigger sense of responsibility and stability.
When your employees’ mental wellbeing is in a better state, they are obviously much more likely to work more efficiently and better with teammates.
Of course, it goes without saying that this scheme won’t work for everyone, as each workplace is different. If you can’t see this fitting into your business, why not consider implementing flexi time, or extra time to take off during your employees days, to extend their lunch, leave early or take a moment to get their feet on the ground during a busy day? Even increasing holiday allowance could help your employees relax.
What do you think of the unlimited holiday entitlement?
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