Here's Why Richard Branson Is Letting His Staff Take As Much Leave As They Want

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Flexible working options are increasingly becoming the norm in Australian workplaces.

By giving employees a choice of the hours or where they work from, employers can be rewarded with increased creativity, productivity and overall happier workers.

Now jumping on the band-wagon is Virgin boss, Richard Branson.

The serial entrepreneur has written a blog post about how he plans to revolutionise the traditional annual leave company policy at Virgin.

He says his daughter put him on to the idea after reading about Netflix’s flexible holiday policy.

She emailed him saying: “‘Dad, check this out. It’s something I have been talking about for a while and I believe it would be a very Virgin thing to do to not track people’s holidays… I have a friend whose company has done the same thing and they’ve apparently experienced a marked upward spike in everything – morale, creativity and productivity have all gone through the roof.’ Needless to say I was instantly intrigued and wanted to learn more.”

Under the new annual leave system Branson says there would be no need to ask for prior approval and no one would keep track of the days taken.

“It is left to the employee alone to decide if and when he or she feels like taking a few hours, a day, a week or a month off,” he says.

“The assumption being that they are only going to do it when they feel a hundred per cent comfortable that they and their team are up to date on every project and that their absence will not in any way damage the business – or, for that matter, their careers!”

The system works on the premise that because we are now so connected with technology we rarely switch off from working, making it hard to measure an employees’ time on the job. So Branson says “why should it apply a different and outmoded standard to their time away from it?”

The “non policy” has already been applied to Virgin in the UK and US, and depending on its success could soon be introduced other Virgin subsidiaries.

“This is surely one of the simplest and smartest initiatives I have heard of in a long time… [it] will be incredibly exciting to watch.”

Read his full blog post here.

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