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September 05, 2007
IBM Stops Tracking Vacation

While IBM offers three or more weeks of vacation to each of its 355,000 employees per year, the company has no idea how much of that vacation time employees use because IBM no longer tracks it, the New York Times reports.

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The vacation policy began in the 1990s among management and expanded to cover all employees in 2003, the newspaper reports.

The newspaper notes that the vacation policy essentially allows employees to take vacation just about any time they want, instead of using a seniority system to dole out the best vacation times. Employees simply make an informal arrangement with their supervisor regarding the vacation time they want to use.

"It's like when you went to college and you didn't have high school teachers nagging you anymore," Mark L. Hanny, vice president of independent software vendor alliances at IBM, tells the newspaper. "Employees like that we put more accountability on them."

Of course, IBM holds employees accountable for getting their work done on time and being flexible--like the company is--so that deadlines can be met and projects can be finished.

Other companies are flexible when it comes to granting vacation time as well, the newspaper reports. At Motley Fool, for, example, employees can take as many vacation or sick days as they need.

An expert tells the newspaper that the companies adopting more liberal vacation policies have some traits in common.

"If you look at the organizations that have done more radical things, they tend to be technology companies with salaried people, [where flexibility in job performance] is embedded into the culture of the place," Max Caldwell of Towers Perrin, an HR consulting firm.


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