Hands up how many of you know that it is “National Work-Life Week”? Well, in an apt tribute today’s featured article is a blog post on the Virgin website, by Sir Richard Branson himself, announcing his plans to allow Virgin staff (UK and US) to take as much annual leave as they want. That’s right – unrestricted with no need for prior approval. The theory behind this, of course, is that it develops a culture of trust, which in itself creates better morale and, thus, productivity. The blog post can be read here.
I’m intrigued by this idea and view it positively, but I do realise that it’s not possible in every role or organisation, nor will everyone embrace it. I know, however, of other people who work for companies with a similar policy to the one Virgin is introducing and their research has proven that, if anything, staff are likely to take less annual leave than when it was a restricted benefit (the cynics will say this is why it has been introduced, of course).
Work life balance is a huge issue for many of our clients and for career changers in particular. It is a growing issue which isn’t going to go away. Many companies out there preach work-life balance without actually practising it so it will be interesting to see, when a company does put its money where its mouth is, how the reality works out.