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The experiment: Unlimited paid vacation for all peers

Who has­n’t exper­i­enced this? At the begin­ning of the year, you sit down togeth­er as a fam­ily and spread out your con­trac­tu­ally reg­u­lated vaca­tion days over the year. How­ever, this inflex­ible plan­ning often does not fit in with a flex­ible life. Espe­cially urgently needed short breaks are often not taken into con­sid­er­a­tion with respect to the remain­ing vaca­tion and pos­sibly miss­ing days off at Christ­mas­time. There are dis­cus­sions about how many days can trans­fer into the next year. Also when vaca­tion may or can be for­feited is taken into con­sid­er­a­tion. Everything is cal­cu­lated, pushed around, and pock­eted. Some­times things can get very tight. This sys­tem, which has been prac­ticed for dec­ades, is based on the assump­tion that employ­ees only show up for work because they can­not cur­rently take vaca­tion. But can this be the basis for motiv­a­tion, pas­sion, and per­son­al goals?

What hap­pens if you ques­tion this idea? What hap­pens if every­one in the team can take as much vaca­tion as they want/need?

The Peer­ox formula:

Goal + Motiv­a­tion + Free­dom = Success

Because only those who have the free­dom to think out­side the box in order to get to their des­tin­a­tion can achieve that goal in the best pos­sible way!

At Peer­ox, we believe that man­aging per­form­ance by mon­it­or­ing work­ing hours and attend­ance makes no sense at all. Wheth­er someone is on vaca­tion, takes flex­time, exclus­ively puts their feet up in the home office, or spends their office day on Face­book is com­pletely irrel­ev­ant in the end. The end res­ult of the work is rarely related to the hours worked. On the con­trary, tak­ing reg­u­lar breaks, rechar­ging the bat­tery, and then really step­ping on the gas with the team can res­ult not only in great­er sat­is­fac­tion and health, but also in great­er efficiency.

To take this mean­ing­less pres­sure off every Peer at Peer­ox, we’ve intro­duced unlim­ited paid vaca­tion. This means every Peer can take as much vaca­tion as he or she wants. There are just a few rules to follow:

  1. The sys­tem will only work if every­one can rely on each oth­er and there is a deep trust. The team motiv­ates and treats each oth­er to the breaks they deserve. At the same time, absences are planned in close con­sulta­tion. The moment the well-being of the team and the achieve­ment of our vis­ion no longer play a role for the indi­vidu­al Peer, the sys­tem will fail. In this case, how­ever, we have prob­ably made oth­er fun­da­ment­al mis­takes. Prob­ably we would have no chance of keep­ing Peer­ox alive with the cur­rent spir­it anyway.
  2. Vaca­tions are announced with at least their planned dur­a­tion as lead time. This helps the team to plan, build trust, and coordin­ate tasks and cus­tom­er com­mu­nic­a­tion with each other.
  3. The min­im­um vaca­tion must be taken. To mon­it­or this, we will con­tin­ue to log the vaca­tion days. We do this in par­tic­u­lar to be able to con­demn lazy peers to a forced vaca­tion. We will be very care­ful to make sure that every­one takes care of them­selves. After all, we still have huge plans for every single individual.
Peerox-Logo im Sand

The prin­ciple of “unlim­ited vaca­tion” has already been tested in a num­ber of com­pan­ies around the world. The res­ults vary greatly. While in some com­pan­ies, the high level of trust has led to pos­it­ive effects, oth­ers report exploit­a­tion effects, inequal­ity, resent­ment, or a lack of cour­age to take any vaca­tion at all. We talked to many people about our idea in advance. On aver­age, people do not believe that this prin­ciple can actu­ally work. It is assumed that the neg­at­ive effects clearly out­weigh the pos­it­ive ones. But we believe that Peer­ox offers every single Peer so many per­son­al devel­op­ment oppor­tun­it­ies, com­mon chal­lenges with our inter­est­ing pro­ject part­ners and fun in the team that even ego­ist­ic con­sid­er­a­tions lead to not want­ing to put this work­ing envir­on­ment at risk. There­fore, we would like to prove the oppos­ite, make our vis­ion come true with our guid­ing prin­ciples, and dare to try this exper­i­ment. We will see wheth­er we are ulti­mately revealed to be naive, ideal­ist­ic dream­ers with dis­sat­is­fied Peers and an insolv­ent Peer­ox, or wheth­er trust­ing in the per­son­al drive of the Peers once again releases new forces and joy in the work.

Are you curious?
Find out what jobs we cur­rently have avail­able or send us your spec­u­lat­ive application.
In Hilarion5 Pod­cast one of our founders, Markus Windisch, talks in detail about our mod­el of unlim­ited paid vaca­tion. Listen to the podcast.

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