Are you looking for a job that you could finally call it a “career”, so much so that you plan to retire without jumping to another ship? If the answer is “yes”, then start writting in to Virgin Airways because this is the best company on planet Earth. Employees of Malaysia Airlines who have a 30% chance of getting retrenched should waste no time on this opportunity. But expect tough competition as the interest in jobs at Virgin is likely to skyrocket.
And what is that so? Because billionaire boss Richard Branson plans to allow Virgin officers in Britain and the United States (at initial testing phase) do what many employees have been dreaming for as long as mankind can remember – everyone can take time off work “whenever they want”. Surely this is the greatest reward than a huge raise. While monetary reward does not guarantee job satisfaction, the flexibility in taking time off is a rare perk everyone wants.
Writing on his Virgin blog, Sir Richard reveals the plan to remove limits on the amount of holiday Virgin employees can take each year in the hope it will boost morale, creativity and productivity. Inspired by a similar strategy introduced by video streaming giant Netflix in 2010, which works wonderfully, Branson’s latest plan means Virgin staffs will now be allowed to take time off work without prior warning but are expected to manage this so they stay up to date with all their work.
Interestingly, it was Branson’s daughter Holly who happened to read about Netflix’s mind-blowing “Holiday Anytime” plan and alerted him. There is no need to ask for prior approval and neither the employees themselves nor their managers are asked or expected to keep track of their days away from the office. It is left to the employee alone to decide if and when he or she feels like taking a few hours, a day, a week or a month off.
Of course, the assumption is that the Virgin employees are only going to do it when they feel a hundred per cent comfortable that they and their team are up to date on every project and that their absence will not in any way damage the business – or, for that matter, their careers. Sir Richard further explains that many managers can no longer accurately track how many hours their employees spend on their job due to the ease of remote working and this undermines the old fashioned system of tracking holiday time.
Now, this is what I call a leading example of “Generation Y Boss”. And no, I’m not sucking up to Sir Richard Branson, hoping to get a job at Virgin desperately (*grin*). Remember your boss who kept trumpeting about human being the best assets of the company? Well, your boss was just bull-shitting and merely talking the talk, while Branson is walking the talk. And if the trial at Virgin UK and Virgin U.S. is a success, all Virgin subsidiaries will follow.
Richard Branson, whom students include iconic Air Asia’s Tony Fernandez, has posed an interesting question – if working nine to five no longer applies, then why should strict annual leave (vacation) policies? Nevertheless, such policy (or rather no-policy?) on unlimited vacation could work perfectly on project-oriented work only. It would be a great challenge to implement it where the job scope involves day-to-day operations, without managers abusing the new perks.
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