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Meet the New Unlimited Vacation: Squaremouth’s Minimum Vacation Policy

Meet the New Unlimited Vacation: Squaremouth’s Minimum Vacation Policy

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ST. PETERSBURG FL November 17, 2016 — While unlimited vacation is becoming an increasingly popular perk, it is still met with skepticism. For St. Pete-based company Squaremouth, which has offered unlimited paid vacation for the past 10 years, the solution was simple: a minimum vacation policy.

“Unlimited vacation has been an integral part of our culture from day one. We really want employees to take time away to recharge and to come back with new ideas,” said Squaremouth CEO Chris Harvey. “But we realized we needed to do more to make sure people were taking enough vacation.”

Only half of Americans use all their vacation time each year, and this problem can be compounded with an unlimited vacation policy. Squaremouth Web Developer Keith Thompson saw this firsthand at his previous job with a company offering unlimited vacation, where he took only three days off in over a year.

“The danger of unlimited vacation at most companies is that without boundaries it’s hard to know how much time is actually safe to take off,” said Thompson. After joining Squaremouth, where company decisions are a group effort, he researched and proposed a plan to add a 10-day minimum to the unlimited vacation policy. Staff put it to a vote, and the amendment was approved.

Personal days, sick days, and appointments do not count toward the vacation minimum — nor do birthdays, which is an automatic day off for each employee. Staff who have not taken at least 10 days receive email reminders in the fall.

“As a company, we can always improve, and it’s satisfying to have been able to bring about this change to our policy,” said Thompson. “With the minimum vacation policy, no one feels guilty for asking for time off, and time off is good for everyone’s health.”

Before implementing the policy in 2014, employees took an average of 10 days off, including personal and sick days. This year Squaremouth staff took an average of three weeks of vacation, averaging 20 total days of paid time off

“As someone who moved here from outside the country, knowing I can take time off when friends and family visit removes a lot of stress,” said Squaremouth Web Designer Anna Gernandt. “It’s nice to feel trusted to manage my time and projects in anticipation of time I’m taking off, and it motivates me to be even more productive.”

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Squaremouth is consistently recognized both locally and nationally for its persistent growth and unique workplace culture. The company has spent four years on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America and is a five-time Tampa Bay Fast 50 Company. Squaremouth has been named one of the Best Workplaces for Women and Best Small Workplaces in the nation by Fortune Magazine and Great Place to Work. The company is regularly cited as one of the best companies to work for in Florida and the Tampa Bay area.

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