Surf’s Up at Patagonia

Living up to the founder’s creed redefines flextime

Given that Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard’s business manifesto is entitled Let My People Go Surfing and that the apparel maker’s catalogs celebrate the exploits of world-class ski bums, on-the-job benefits at the $412 million, Ventura (Calif.)-based company are a matter not only of HR but PR. So how do its competitive slackers secure their bragging rights? For starters, there’s a surf spot known as “C Street” two minutes from headquarters; current wave reports can be found on a wipeboard in the lobby. More crucially, new dads, as well as moms, get two months paid paternity or maternity leave. The company also grants up to four months unpaid personal leave for big, life-changing journeys.

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