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LinkedIn is giving its employees 'unlimited' vacation plus 17 paid holidays

Linkedin ceo jeff weinerStephen Lam/Getty Images

LinkedIn will soon adopt a new vacation policy with no minimum or maximum vacation days. Everyone just works vacation time out with their own manager.

LinkedIn is also turning July 4 into an extra-long holiday break. All told, the company is going from 15 days of accrued vacation and 13 paid holidays to the “discretionary time off” model (DTO) and 17 paid holidays, effective Nov 1, the company tells us.

The “unlimited” vacation model is not an original idea, as LinkedIn admits. This has been a thing in the tech startup world for years. We do the same thing at Business Insider.

But it is unusual for a company the size of LinkedIn to make such a change. LinkedIn has over 8,700 full-time employees in 30 offices worldwide, it says.

According to a study by the WorldatWork Organisation published last year, only about 2% of companies offer this kind of alternative vacation model. Most either offer the traditional model of tracking vacation, sick time and other time off, or the “personal time off” (PTO) model where time off is one big chunk.

As LinkedIn’s top HR exec Pat Wadors explained in a blog post, this new policy puts the onus on the employee to “act like an owner” of his/her vacation needs. Treating employees like responsible adults, that’s not a bad thing.

From personal observation, people seem to take about the same amount of vacation with a DTO model that they would take if their days were metered out more formally, but HR is spared the paperwork. That’s not a bad thing either.

On the other hand, Americans are reluctant to take vacation at all. On average, American employees only take about half of the vacation they are entitled to, according to a survey conducted by Glassdoor last year.

There are a lot of subtle messages in our culture that glorifies workaholism and labels R&R time as slacking, even though studies have shown (and common sense dictates) that rest time improves overall productivity.

This pressure to never leave work is even more present, and glorified, in the tech industry, even tech CEOs acknowledge.

In any case. LinkedIn employees are now free to vacation or not as they choose, with 17 holidays built in.

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