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Working It

The radical unlimited vacation experiment


Trusting your staff to take as much time off as they need to rest and avoid burnout sounds like the ultimate post-pandemic workplace reset, but what would it be like in reality?In this episode, Isabel talks to Amy Cowpe of Charlie HR, a human resources software company based in the UK, about its radical unlimited vacation experiment. What happens when you give people the freedom to make their own choices? The experiment (spoiler alert) didn’t work - but not for the reasons you might expect. Even so, some big-name companies, including Netflix, have long had a ‘no vacation’ policy. How do they make it work? Isabel also talks about the history of paid holidays - her own grandmother had just one day off a month as a live-in maid for a rich English family in the 1930s (yes, it was a bit like Downton Abbey). 

We would love to hear from you: email us at workingit@ft.com. Follow @isabelberwick on Twitter or email her direct at isabel.berwick@ft.com

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Presented by Isabel Berwick. Editorial direction from Renée Kaplan. Assistant producer is Persis Love. Sound design is by Breen Turner, with original music from Metaphor Music. Produced by Novel.


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