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Unlimited Paid Vacation? Yeah Right!

This week we announced that rather than offering employees a set number of paid vacation days we would offer an unlimited number of paid vacation days. To many this sounds counter-intuitive.

“Doesn’t that mean nobody will come to work?”

“Yes but you don’t really mean unlimited…”

Just some of the common questions / comments I got when I ruminated the idea among friends. But I really believe we are on to something.

OK so here’s the logic. If we really trust and value our employees then this shouldn’t be a problem. We are not running some sort of Dickensian sweatshop where everyone clocks in at nine and is playing solitaire to bide time until the clock strikes five. I was walking back to our UK office late into the evening last week. It was dark but I could see the building in the distance. I was immensely proud to see that of the 3 or 4 floors, only 1 floor was still illuminated. Yes it was ours. Just about everyone was still there. Not because we were paying them to be there, not because anyone was forcing them to be there. They were there out of choice. They are a team that works together to get the job done.

It’s also a wonderful self-regulating mechanism. I was talking with someone from our excellent PR agency the other day about hiring. They ask the question are they “P-L-U’s?” an acronym for “People Like Us”. Now, more than ever, hiring managers at WANdisco will ask this question because for this to work everyone must be a P-L-U.

This is not some sort of fad or publicity stunt. It’s real. Actions speak louder than words: we value actual productivity more than biding time at the office, we trust each other to do the right thing, we recognize that work is not actually at the center of everyone’s universe, we have unlimited paid vacation days!


About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies. Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth. With over 15 years' executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards. David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Specialties:IPO's, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A