Richard Branson
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has decided to give his employees unlimited days off from work. Reuters

Billionaire and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson announced that he’s instilled a policy (or non-policy) where his employees can take off as many days as they need to. This of course raised the question of them feeling comfortable or not to even take them. Branson first heard of the idea when his daughter forwarded him an email 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.” The company referred to was Netflix.

Branson went on to instill the policy and wrote in his blog: “I’m delighted to say that we have introduced this same (non) policy at our parent company in both the UK and the US, where vacation policies can be particularly draconian.” Through this, he is also giving his employees a vote of trust of which he said they are able to decide, “when he or she feels like taking a few hours, a day, a week or a month off, 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 whole thing has raised eyebrows all over and has begun many debates as to how employees will handle such freedom, or if the non-policy is freeing at all! Michael Howard from Esquire thinks it’s a double-edged sword as it can “change the entire working world” since, he adds “We could use a little trust in our big-boy competence.” On the other hand, he also states that work hours can become meaningless and employees could very well just be on call 24/7.

I believe the policy sounds very promising but needs some fine-tuning. Perhaps there should be a hierarchy pyramid which, when climbed to a certain level can earn you the unlimited-days-off dream (non) policy. What do you think of this? Would you be able to handle it?

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