August 3, 2014

Open Vacation Policy, a New Way to Collaborate

After an intense period of work, it's important to take some time for recovery to get your energy back.

However, how people consider work and vacation will differ depending on the culture. Some cultures promote work and others thinks it's just a way to earn money. Vacation is the only period of life many people can enjoy.
Not anybody has the chance to do what they love for a living. Work tends to be a burden they have to carry through life, waiting for holidays and retirement. It's important that those of us who have the opportunity to do what we love, do our best to take that opportunity.

Find the Right Balance between Professional and Personal

Your life isn't just your work. Your need to have some time to disconnect. Maybe you need a passion completely different from your job to replenish your energy. For example, some people create a family and love to devote their time to their partner and children. Others love to spend their time working for a humanitarian cause.

You need to find the right balance between your personal and professional activites. Finding the right balance is also about finding the right amount of time you need to give for those activities. You must ensure you can recover enough energy to be more effective.

There is no such thing as Paid Holidays

In France, the law fixed to five weeks the minimum length of paid holidays. Industry-wide agreements will add one to three weeks if you work more than 35 hours a week. Other countries like the United States tends to limit this to two weeks and it's up to the company to determine if it's enough or not.

Five to eight weeks paid vacation seems tempting. That's just a way of marketing it. You will be paid for an amount of work days (or hours) per year. Salaries take into account the fact that you won't be working during seven weeks. So, there is no such thing as paid holidays.

Transition from Employees to Collaborators

The goal of Open Vacation Policy is to let people judge how much they want to be involved in the company. And also, how much time they need to recover to be fully committed when they come back. That kind of policy is not possible in every company due to some operational constraints.

Some people will need two weeks per year because they need more money. Others will need up to 10 weeks to spend more time on an entrepreneurial projet, with their family or any other hobby they care about. The goal here is transitioning from a relation between a boss and an employee to a relation of collaboration or coworkers. You hire collaborators to contribute to your company a certain amount of their energy and expect results. In that kind of relationship, you can allow as much time as you collaborators need to be effective in their job.

That's a shift of paradigm from how the industrial revolution shaped how people interact in companies. To evolve to that kind of thinking, trust and autonomy are important.

How do you feel about an open vacation policy? Would it work for you or your company? Don't hesitate to comment and share your thoughts on this.

Thanks for reading!