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To Recruit Techies, Companies Offer Unlimited Vacation

Open-ended vacation policies are catching on in Silicon Valley
To Recruit Techies, Companies Offer Unlimited Vacation
Illustration by Jack Reynolds

In June, Ben Zotto embarked on a three-week trek up Mount Everest with a couple of close friends, a vacation he’s been dreaming of for years. He did it because he could: Zotto’s new employer, software startup Evernote, doesn’t limit or even track time off. “It’s a trust-based system,” says Zotto, the creator of a popular handwriting app that was acquired by Evernote earlier this year. “It treats people as if they can run their own schedule.”

Evernote, based in Redwood City, Calif., is one of a growing number of companies to offer workers unlimited paid vacation in the hopes of lowering employee stress and cutting down on disruptive turnover. “Some companies are realizing they have to look for other benefits for their employees because the limited, paid vacation doesn’t look like a benefit anymore. It feels like more control,” says Jody Thompson, co-founder of workforce consultant CultureRx.