WASHINGTON – What if your boss offered to pay you to stay away from the office?
In a society of workaholics, with employees reluctant to use all their allotted vacation days, some companies are providing incentives to get burned-out employees to actually relax — all in the name of making money.
Companies, including Netflix, Zynga, Evernote and FullContact, are rethinking traditional vacation policies. In some cases, they are offering unlimited, paid vacations, as long as employees get their work done.
FullContact offers each staff member $7,500 yearly, to bankroll a family vacation for the employee, in which he or she can actually unplug and relax, according to Forbes.
The average American worker gets just two weeks vacation each year, far less than up to six weeks in France, Italy, Germany and Brazil.
“Workers today are suffering from presenteeism,” being physically on the job, but mentally over-stressed, says British researcher Cary Cooper.
“It’s an insecure job environment,” Cooper says.
“People feel they have to work long hours, get in lots of face-time and show they are so committed that they don’t even take vacation,” Cooper says.
An executive at Evernote says unlimited vacation allows employees to be their most productive.
“We don’t pay people hourly. We’re paying you for your mind. What(ever) makes you more productive is what you should do,” says Phil Libin of Evernote.