Netflix Has Successfully Applied ‘Unlimited Vacation’ Policy, This Is What Your Company Needs to Know

Netflix Has Successfully Applied 'Unlimited Vacation' Policy, This Is What Your Company Needs to Know

Netflix Has Successfully Applied ‘Unlimited Vacation’ Policy, This Is What Your Company Needs to Know

The ‘unlimited vacation’ policy may still be very little adopted by companies in Indonesia. But overseas, especially startup companies, this policy has become a breakthrough to attract and retain employees in the amidst fierce ‘war talent’ and shortage of skilled workforce. Netflix is one of companies that offers this policy to its employees.

From the employee’s point of view, such a policy is certainly interesting. Companies typically only allow 14 days of leave a year, but Netflix allows employees to take leave at any time and unlimited duration.

The results of the SHRM study are quite interesting as it showed that loosening rules around the vacation can actually increase productivity. Giving employees the responsibility for paid allowance can increase employees’ trust and respect for the company. In addition, this policy can also save the company’s expenses. With traditional vacation policies, companies have to compensate for banked vacation days that employees don’t take.

Although it is proven that ‘unlimited holidays’ have benefits for employees and companies, in the HR side, this kind of policy is seen as vulnerable to be abused. Then, how can Netflix make this policy work as a perk without harming the company?


What companies are implementing this policy?

First of all, we need to know what kind of companies tend to implement this policy. One policy may not be applicable to all companies. According to HRM (Human Resource Management), although ‘unlimited vacation’ is a hot topic, only one percent of companies adopt this policy. These companies are technically a startup tech that need talent, are eager to attract millennial employees, and are open to operational approaches that are less traditional.

You might want to consider the ‘unlimited vacation’ policy if your company:

  • Has young employees who prioritize freedom and autonomy
  • Has a healthy corporate culture and a high level of trust to employees
  • Employees clearly understand the target to be delivered
  • The company has a system of measurement to determine knowledge gaps and rewards employees who improve their skills.
  • All employees are entitled to this policy (no employee gets an exemption)


How does Netflix make this policy work?

Such a policy is vulnerable to be abused and Netflix has successfully applied the policy because there is a strong ‘trust’ culture. In addition, the following three tips are expected to help.


  1. Plan ahead of time

To ensure high-quality team productivity and quality vacation time, make sure to take leave from afar. The absence of an employee undoubtedly affects team productivity. At the very least, an employee should notify his team the week before the leave if there is work to be done.


  1. Set clear expectations

Set clear expectations but stay flexible on how to get the work done. Employees need to be aware that even if one of them is on vacation, the team must remain productive and finish the job. For employees who want to take vacation, they can finish their work in advance, or ask a co-worker to help in the completion of the task. Most importantly, every employee is responsible must prioritize team productivity.


  1. Know how much for a vacation

Although technically employees may take unlimited vacation, the company does not expect its employees to take up to 75% of their total workdays. It’s recommended that employees find out how many days the average employee takes day off. For example, maybe employees in a company takes a total of 3 weeks off a year in average. Company can also tell the employees about the average so they can get a sense the norm.






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