This Is How To Run Your Company - Unlimited Vacations


The NY Times just had an interesting interview with Phil Libin, who is the Chief Executive of Evernote. If you haven't used the service before, Evernote is a note-taking application that's "in the cloud". You can take a note on your phone, computer, laptop, or iPad and add it to their servers. Then you can access it from anywhere.

It was a unique application when it was released, and their corporate culture continues to be unique. Check out this quote from the interview:

Q. Tell me about some other things you do.

A. We recently changed our vacation policy to give people unlimited vacation, so they can take as much time as they want, as long as they get their job done. If you want to take time off, talk to your team, but we’re still measuring you on the same thing, which is, did you accomplish something great? Frankly, we want to treat employees like adults, and we don’t want being in the office to seem like a punishment. We always try to ask whether a particular policy exists because it’s a default piece of corporate stupidity that everyone expects you to have, or does it actually help you accomplish something? And very often you realize that you don’t really know why you’re doing it this way, so we just stop doing it.

Q. Is the unlimited vacation policy working?

A. So far. We had to modify it slightly because one of the first things I started worrying about is whether people would actually take less vacation. I don’t want people not to take any vacation because that’s just bad for them, and it’s bad for me. You’re not going to get a lot of work out of someone if they haven’t taken a vacation in a while. So we started rewarding people for taking at least a week at a time on a real trip by giving them $1,000 spending money. That seems to be going well.

Yes Phil, I think a $1,000 bonus for taking a vacation would go well anywhere. We're starting something similar here at Bro Council, we're going to pay Pat $1,000 everytime we don't have to censor on of his articles. We don't expect to have to pay anything out.

Check out the rest of the article for more nuggets of wisdom, and Evernote's site if you want to check out the software:

[Interview - NYTimes]

[Evernote - Company Site]

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Ray is the founder of Stray Monkey, and as a shameless plug he wants to remind you to check out the Research the News podcast.