Mathias Meyer of Travis CI, on why they abandoned their uncounted-vacation-days policy:
When people are uncertain about how many days it’s okay to take off, you’ll see curious things happen. People will hesitate to take a vacation as they don’t want to seem like that person who’s taking the most vacation days. It’s a race to the bottom instead of a race towards a well rested and happy team.
Exactly. I’ve never heard of an employer in the tech business with one of these “open” vacation policies whose employees actually took as much vacation as they would have in a traditional accrued-vacation-days policy.
What usually happens instead is that the workaholism culture in tech startups takes priority, and it becomes politically unwise to ever take a vacation, especially a truly offline one.
The tech business is proud of its workaholism, but it really shouldn’t be. It’s a sign of immaturity and poor management, not drive.