10 Companies That Offer Unlimited PTO
Unlimited paid time off is a benefit that enables employees to go on vacation whenever they feel it is necessary without sending an official request to human resources and getting approval.
This benefit has become increasingly popular in the past couple of years. Since the pandemic, many employees have experienced the benefits of remote working. Flexible schedules, less commute time, and better work-life balance are just a few.
In addition, companies that allow unlimited vacation days build a culture of trust, empowering their employees to have greater autonomy over their schedule and motivating them to be more productive.
As the Trust in the Modern Workplace survey finds, 68% of respondents say that the perception of low trust hurts their daily effort. Also, 64% said trust directly impacts their sense of belonging at work.
Companies such as Hubspot and Netflix implemented unlimited PTO almost a decade ago. The model was not ideal immediately; it took them time to establish the right policy. However, more and more companies see unlimited PTO as an effective recruitment and retention tool.
Below we share a list of companies who have already implemented this benefit. See how they are doing.
Netflix is the household name in the entertainment space, providing an international streaming service. According to Statista, Netflix has approximately 11,300 full-time employees as of last year (2021).
Since it was launched, Netflix has tracked its employees’ time off (part of a traditional PTO policy). However, things changed in 2003. As the company’s Co-CEO, Reed Hastings, explains it in his book, “No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention,” one question made him consider implementing an unlimited time off policy.
An employee started their question by saying to Hastings that they all work some weekends, answer emails at odd hours, take off afternoons for personal time, and added: “We don’t track hours worked per day or week. Why are we tracking days of vacation per year?”
How is unlimited PTO going for Netflix?
What made the executive team implement an unlimited PTO policy even quicker was the results they noticed employees who came from vacation delivered. They realized that after taking time off to rest and spend time with their loved ones, employees are more creative, get a new perspective on their job, and obtain clearance on how to approach specific tasks and issues.
However, Hastings had some concerns. Two in particular. The first was the fear that some employees would take advantage of a perk such as unlimited paid time off. On the other hand, he thought some employees would not take time off at all, resulting in burnout and possibly resignations.
Both of his concerts turned out to be justified. One example of an employee from an accounting department who took time off in the first two weeks of January to avoid book closing confirmed the first fear. Another concern came into life when another employee from a marketing team avoided going on vacation because their leader and teammates didn’t go either.
Hastings realized the policy must have some “rules.” First, leaders must encourage open communication and inspire their coworkers to talk about and take time off. Leaders must also go on vacation as the best management comes from leading by example.
Open communication would also prevent risky vacation overlaps. Although employees can take vacation days whenever they want, it may be challenging for a particular team if the majority is absent for a specific period (as in the accounting department example).
An unlimited paid time off policy was not perfect from the start. It needed adjustments and came with many lessons from which both Netflix CEOs and employees learned. These are now described in Hastings’ book, helping other managers to understand and maybe implement such a perk.
Oracle is a Texas-based computer software company with a global reputation. It is also another company known for offering unlimited PTO to its employees.
According to Comparably, PTO is the 3rd most valued benefit Oracle offers (a quarter of employees say it is the most important).
However, Oracle’s vacation & PTO policy varies between hourly and salaried employees.
How unlimited PTO works at Oracle
Oracle refers to unlimited paid time off as “flexible vacation.” However, as mentioned above, what PTO means for particular employees depends on the employment arrangement.
As Comparably notes, over 30% of employees with the company for less than a year say their PTO is between 10-15 days, including vacation and sick leave. On the other hand, those working more than a decade (over 45% of them) say they have unlimited paid time off (vacation and sick days).
Finally, employees who want to take time off must get approval from their superiors that they don’t go on vacation when their presence is critical.
Located in Redwood, California, Evernote is the creator of an app (also called Evernote) designed to make task management and note-taking straightforward.
The company is also known for attractive benefits packages. These include various insurances, including life, medical, vision, and dental. Free drinks, snacks, and work-from-home Wednesdays are among the perks offered.
A pretty motivating PTO policy
Evernote offers unlimited vacation days, but it also motivates its employees to take as much free time as they feel necessary by providing a yearly vacation stipend that amounts to $1,000.
Therefore, if you are a Product Designer, Customer Success Manager, Data Scientist of Analytics, and marketing operations specialist searching for new job opportunities in a flexible work environment, see if Evernote has any job postings related to your role.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social platform. People use LinkedIn to build a personal brand, connect with people from their industry, present their companies, and seek new job opportunities.
As eMarketer’s Digital Trust Benchmark Report 2021 finds, over 1,730 US social media users evaluated LinkedIn as the most trusted social media platform. It is the fifth year that LinkedIn has taken first place in this category.
Aside from being the number one choice for social media users worldwide, LinkedIn is an attractive employer, too. The thing that differentiates it from many organizations is its benefits package to employees, helping them achieve better work-life balance.
Unlimited PTO and more
LinkedIn offers unlimited vacation days to its team members. The company also gives 17 holiday days to employees a year and a day per month called InDay (Investment Day).
Employees can use InDay to dedicate themselves to their personal projects, something they are passionate about and has nothing to do with their regular job.
In addition, in April 2020, most of the company’s staff (almost 16,000) received a paid week off to recharge.
As creating marketing strategies for the virtual space became the number one priority for most companies in the last couple of years, Hubspot has become an irreplaceable partner with its internet marketing software that helps businesses expand their customer base.
The company is also an attractive employer known for taking care of its team members’ wellness and professional development. Hubspot’s benefits package includes dental and health insurance, a retirement savings plan, and $5,000 per year for continuing education. Although the company is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, they hire in several other cities, including New York.
Unlimited PTO for Hubspot employees
Aside from offering unlimited vacation time, the Hubspot PTO policy includes vacation quota relief. As a result, every salesperson can cut their quota in half twice a year, making it easier for them to hit it - and take a vacation.
Another attractive perk enables anyone who has been with the company 5+ years to take four weeks of paid time off—a sabbatical—to go on a vacation and focus on learning and acquiring new skills. In addition, however, people can use this period to relax and rest.
Twitter is a social media and micro-blogging platform with around 7,500 employees. It is located in San Francisco, California.
In April 2022, the news about Elon Musk, a business magnate, investor, and the wealthiest person in the world, buying Twitter shook the world. However, as CNN Business reports, Musk is putting this endeavor on hold.
Musk tweeted: “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.”
What the future of the company is is yet to be seen. Still, as an employer, Twitter is another company implementing an unlimited vacation policy.
Unlimited paid time off and other perks
Twitter offers unlimited vacation days and a parental leave policy—it gives twenty weeks of paid maternity and paternity leave.
Worth mentioning: Free snacks, drinks, and meals are part of the workday at Twitter.
Located in San Jose, California, Roku produces digital media players for video streaming. The company also licenses its software and hardware to other businesses. According to macrotrends, the total number of employees in 2021 was 3,000, over a 50% increase from 2020. As employees say, Roku has top talent from the industry, including ML and AI engineers.
The Roku employee benefits include medical, financial, and wellness benefits. The company also offers unlimited PTO.
A policy based on trust
As company executives explain, they believe employees can be productive and still have a considerable amount of time to focus on their personal lives. Therefore, they don’t track the vacation days of their salaried employees.
Roku also doesn’t have official time off for holidays. Instead, their team members can take as much free time as necessary as long as they don’t affect the rest of the team and get the job done, respecting deadlines.
Sony Electronics Inc. offers audio-visual products, including camcorders, digital cameras, flash media products, televisions, digital photo frames, and mobile entertainment products, to name a few. The company employs over 109 thousand people worldwide (Statista).
What’s leadership’s philosophy around unlimited PTO?
As with all the companies listed above, trust is the core value around unlimited paid time off. As the Sony Electronics executive team explains, their staff is professional, and the company is confident that they can take care of their schedules appropriately.
The company relies on employees’ innovations and ideas. The management team knows the best propositions come when people return from vacations as they have the chance to rest, focus on their personal life, spend quality time with their loved ones, and recharge.
Time off helps employees achieve a better work-life balance; it helps them take care of their physical and mental health. In addition, vacations and holidays are important to employees, so they should also be a priority for a company, says the Sony Electronics team.
The practice has shown that employees at Sony Electronics successfully balance work and time off. That’s why the company doesn’t find it necessary to conduct rigid controls or track employees’ time off.
Chegg is an education company based in California, providing various student services, including online tutoring and physical textbook rentals.
Unused vacation days led to mandatory time off
Chegg offers unlimited vacation days. But some employees feared using these as they didn’t want to appear unprofessional, lazy, and unloyal to their team. However, as previous examples prove, taking time off is of utmost importance for employee well-being and professional results.
When the pandemic hit, people transitioned to working from home, and organizations, including tech companies, saw an increase in unused vacation days at the end of the year (2020). People thought they should not take time off as they already don’t come to the office.
However, remote working meant more work for many. For example, people felt they had to be online constantly, work, and answer emails at odd hours, which resulted in less time for non-business-related activities.
That’s why companies, including Chegg, introduced mandatory time off to “force” their employees to rest, distance themselves from the job, and recharge.
Dropbox offers a hosting service, aka cloud storage. It is one of the first cloud storage services still in use today. Even though many high-quality alternatives appeared (Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive), Dropbox didn’t lose popularity.
Focus on employee well-being
Dropbox has developed a company culture focused on helping employees achieve better work-life balance. They believe employee wellness is critical as it directly affects business outcomes.
Dropbox implemented a PTO policy that includes parental and sick leave and paid time off. As employees say, having unlimited paid time builds trust between employees and the leadership team, as managers have confidence their team members will be reasonable and responsible with their schedules.
Build a Culture of Trust With Roots
The success of an unlimited PTO policy depends on the trust you build with your employees. You build trust if you encourage open communication, and open communication is achievable with the right tools, especially in a remote team.
Book a demo today, and see Roots in action. It’s our mission to help you build strong company culture, increase productivity, and prevent burnout in your distributed team.