Canada's largest job site introduced 'open vacation time' and it actually worked

Mar 14 2017, 10:09 pm

Statistically, Canadians are pretty bad at taking vacations.

In fact, 27% of Canadians go an entire year or more without taking a vacation, and 36% go  six months plus without a break.

This can take its toll on employees.

Last year, a Canadian employer started a new open paid time off (PTO) policy, meaning unlimited vacation for its staff.

Indeed, the popular job website, reported that their PTO has resulted in employees taking an average of 12 days off, 3 more than its previous policy.

“As a company we believe that trusted, empowered and rested employees have a better chance of being happier and also performing better,” said Jodi Kasten, Managing Director at Indeed Canada in a statement. “We consider our paid PTO program a success because employees took a healthy amount of time off and simultaneously were very productive.”

The company, whose staff is composed of 88% millennials, states that a recent survey by Indeed US found that the new generation of workers values flexibility on the job.

Job seekers between 25 to 34 years of age say flexibility greater weight than other factors, according to Indeed, and in contrast, 50% of full-time employed adults struggle to use up annual vacation and personal time.

“Millennial workers expect to have meaningful lives both in and outside of work, making it important for us to provide flexibility for them,” Kasten said. “However, we know that offering it isn’t enough which is why we don’t just provide the unlimited paid PTO policy, but actively work with managers to encourage employees to take time off.”

Indeed is a global company that employs more than 4,000 people in 14 countries. Globally, employees average about 15 days off annually. The company said that last year, during its first year under the new policy, Indeed increased global headcount to over 4,000 employees, opened new offices and boosted unique monthly visitors to the website to over 200 million.

“We want to try and create a great work environment for our employees so they can, in turn, help others find great jobs as well,” Kasten said.

So there you have it. Unlimited vacation policies do work, Canada.

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