Wait a second–everybody just got back to school and work and returned from summer travels to tuck into desk time, and now upstart Richard Branson is implementing a policy at Virgin that employees can take as many vacation days as they’d like, at any time, as often as they’d like, without requiring management to sign off.


He has taken a page from the Netflix book, and it is, while counterintuitive to many managerial brains, a true key to success. As Netflix policy states, ”We should focus on what people get done, not on how many hours or days worked. Just as we don’t have a nine-to-five policy, we don’t need a vacation policy.”

Branson treasures contact and connection over the daily grind, and it makes for a more inspired and fulfilled workplace. How could it not, really? Bosses not breathing down your neck as long as you accomplish what is set before you…no being a slave to a time clock…being able to reverse or entirely remove peak hour commuting frustrations…think of how much more productive workplaces could be!

Clearly not every industry can be run this way…you kind of need doctors and firefighters and pilots and hospitality folks to be in certain expected places doing certain expected things at certain expected times (you might try to hold Congress to the same standard, but that won’t get you very far)…but if yours is a workplace where independent work is the way toward success, doesn’t this sound dreamy? Sure, a few folks may abuse such a system, but they are the ones you want to weed out anyway–the rest will thrive when they are respected enough to maximize their own most productive habits and scheduling.

A thriving, inspired, loyal team is truly the code every employer and manager hopes to crack.

Brand Category: 

About The Author

Andrew Mersmann's picture

Andrew is the author of Frommer's global guide to volunteer vacations, "500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference" (Gold Medal Winner from Society of American Travel Writers: Best Guide Book 2010). He spent more than a decade on the editorial team of PASSPORT Magazine. He has volunteered and led teams on service projects around the world, and is honored to be on the boards of directors for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (AARBF.org) and Mentor Artists Playwrights Project (mentorartists.org). Mersmann has been a featured speaker, interview guest, or moderator on several travel talks, from the New York Times Travel Show, Smithsonian Associates, and the 92nd Street Y-TriBeCa to Oprah and Friends, Animal House, and The Focus Group on satellite radio as well as on NY1 television. Past participant at the Clinton Global Initiative and judge for Condé Nast World Changers Conference, he blogs about volunteering and service travel at www.ChangeByDoing.com. As part of the evox television team, he is dedicated to audience engagement, so if you're not engaged, he needs to be thumped on the head (gently)...or at least told (nicely). Twitter: /ChangeByDoing

Add new comment

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
6 + 13 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.