Want unlimited vacation? This B.C. company might be for you
Published Friday, January 15, 2016 1:14PM PST
Many people dream of a job where they get unlimited time off – and for more than 300 employees at a Vancouver company this dream is now a reality.
BuildDirect, a Vancouver-based website that sells home improvement and building materials at wholesale prices, become the second company in Canada to offer unlimited vacation to its employees on Monday.
“We ask people to deliver a lot of aggressive results and we feel like that needs to be balanced with taking a break,” said Heidi Rolston, the company's vice-president of people.
BuildDirect has grown to more than 300 salaried employees serving clients in 60 countries. The company now requires employees to take a minimum number of days off, and all vacation will be paid.
The decision to allow unlimited vacation time was welcomed by employees such as marketing manager Katie Kernahan, who has already booked her time off.
“Oh my gosh, it was so exciting. Everyone was cheering,” Kernahan told CTV News. “I mean, who doesn't want unlimited vacation? My past few jobs I was always the girl taking unpaid vacation, so I'm really excited to be able to take my minimum and then some - which I definitely will do.”
But there’s a catch: the company is clear that all sales targets must still be met, and all the other work of running the business has to get done before planning for time in the sun.
"We still need to service our customers, we still need to work with our suppliers. So it's not like we have complete flexibility around this,” said Rolston, noting that adjustments will need to be made if people get carried away.
Unlimited vacation time is a concept that’s catching on for some companies in the United States, with organizations such as LinkedIn, Netflix and the Virgin Group jumping on the band wagon.
BuildDirect believes the incentive will boost productivity and morale – and plans to look at productivity in a new way.
“We will focus on results and not time clocked,” said Rolston. “We feel like people taking a break to recharge, to spend time with family and friends, to get outside, to learn new things makes people more productive at work.”
Company employees agree.
"I think I'll feel more committed to the company,” said Kernahan. “I mean I already love my job, but feeling the top down love is pretty awesome."
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Penny Daflos