Survey Results: Tech Pros Definitely Want Unlimited Time Off

Last week, we asked you if an unlimited time-off policy was a good thing for tech pros. Now we have the results: You definitely want more vacation time.

When Dice asked if you wanted more time away from your desk, 42 percent answered ‘Yes!’ A full 12 percent said it may be a good option, and five percent responded they were more than happy with the standard two-week vacation policy.

But while many prefer more time off, just as many have no desire for more vacations. Some 25 percent responded that more time off is bad, and 16 percent are unsure it would be a good thing for them or their company. That’s 41 percent who just don’t see unlimited vacation time as a policy that has a clear benefit.

To be clear, here are the full answers from our survey (the question was “is unlimited time off a good perk for tech pros?’):

  • Yes! I wish my employer offered it!
  • Maybe. I’d feel guilty taking time off. I may get burnt out.
  • No. Who wants to be the one on vacation more than their coworkers?
  • I’m unsure. I don’t know if I can trust my coworkers to be responsible about time off.
  • I’m happy with my standard two weeks off per year.

An unlimited time off policy is sometimes an illusion. Your company might mean well, but it’s often used as a ‘let them eat cake’ policy for companies that don’t want to define an actual leave policy for their staff. Instead of carefully manicuring a policy with blackout dates and/or mandated leave periods, they simply let staff figure it out on their own. Unlimited vacation days can also mean no clearly defined PTO hours for a company to pay out once an employee leaves, robbing tech pros who bank vacation time of a couple weeks’ salary when they finally walk out the door.

This isn’t always effective. Many employees fear that lack of parameters (this is likely represented by the ‘maybe’ and ‘unsure’ crowds). If that’s a fair assumption on our part, 28 percent of tech pros would have no idea what to do with an unlimited vacation policy.

But tech pros want unlimited vacation, by and large, and who could blame them? The ability to take two weeks and two days’ vacation without worrying about running afoul of some draconian leave policy is awesome.

Our advice – for companies and tech pros alike – is to find common ground. If your company institutes an unlimited vacation policy, ask HR or your manager when it’s best to take leave, and how much PTO they would consider excessive. Similarly, companies should provide some light parameters for staff to follow, so everyone is at least on the same page about what ‘unlimited’ really means.

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