Our Vacation Policy: Take Some!

This post is part of a series about our VERY FEW company policies. Read this intro post for some context.


Our vacation policy is this:

Take some!

That's it!

OK, not quite. Of course we follow labor laws specific to the employee's home base, so if we were to state our "real/full" policy it would have a lot more legalese in it, but that's not the point of these blog posts, the point is to capture the spirit of each policy.

For instance, in the US we don't actually have vacation time, but employees are salaried and do set their own schedules. We don't deduct salary for a "missed day," because we don't have "missed days!" Each employee is free to set their schedule and their work hours to get their job done.

In general, I don't care when you work or even how much you work*. What I care about is that you do your best work, at a good pace, sustainably.

Sustainably is why we created the policy, to make sure everyone DOES take time to relax every few months, to disconnect and recharge. Burnout is the last thing I want from my employees.

Since we don't have deadlines, I encourage people to set their own schedule spending time with family, pursing hobbies, or just plain relaxing when it's most convenient to them. We'll adjust around it.

One of the lessons I remember more vividly from working for Jon Gay is when he told me: "it's never a good time to take vacation, so take it when it's most convenient for you".

Totally agree. Sure it would be great if you made sure support was covered while you're out, but worse comes to worse, that's something that I (as the CEO and former single-founder) can cover, I'm rarely totally on vacation.

I'm also not worried about people taking too much time away from work all at once, as being gone for 4 weeks straight impacts their pace quite a bit. :) But people are totally encouraged to go work from a vacation spot and only work half-days for a while, that's what I do every summer!

So that's it, take some time away once in a while!

Hope this helps,
Peldi for the Balsamiq team


* I have heard some people refer to this as ROWE (Results Only Work Environment). I just like it because I'm a programmer and because our team is spread around the world.

Comments (7)

  1. There’s a nice discussion on this post happening on Hacker News: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2978082

  2. I appreciate that from your vantage point the policy of non-accrual of vacation, and a “do what’s right” policy towards vacation must seem like you are building a cool place to work. Frankly as a grunt i find that very irritating. You are just then left with the feeling that your boss is granting you a great gift by allowing you time off because they are an altruistic good guy. No damn it, i’ll EARN my vacation days, even if they are ridiculously paltry. So long as my pay check says they’re mine, stamped in indelible ink, something that was earned.

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  4. Clear, infromvatie, simple. Could I send you some e-hugs?

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