The coolest reasons to take time off.

By Alexandra Schonfeld
July 05, 2017
Matt Dutile/Getty Images

Recent findings show that 54 percent of employees are not taking advantage of their yearly vacation days. There are many reasons for this, including feelings of job insecurity. But spending all that time at the office doesn't always pay off. 

“What we are seeing across the board is that people are not only leaving vacation time on the table each year, they often feel like they can’t fully unplug from work when they do,” said MaryJo Fitzgerald, community expert at Glassdoor. “No matter what kind of vacation or paid-time-off (PTO) policy you have, using it is important for you to be productive and engaged in the long run.”

As a result, many companies have enacted unlimited vacation day policies. But such an open-ended policy can actually backfire if managers don't actively encourage time off, says Brie Reynolds, senior career specialist for Flexjobs and Remote.co. “It also helps quite a bit to have managers and senior level leaders taking good amounts of vacation time, because it shows employees at lower levels that it's not just lip service.”

Other companies are taking another—and more overt—approach, offering impressive incentives to encourage their employees to pack their bags and soak up some sun or spend time with loved ones. Here, some organizations with the most envy-inspiring incentives to take that much-deserved time off.

Deloitte

Offers two sabbatical programs: an unpaid one-month sabbatical that can be taken for any reason and a three-to-six month sabbatical that can be taken to pursue professional or personal growth opportunities with 40 percent pay.

Timberland

Employees can take up to 40 hours of paid time off per year to volunteer. 

Evernote

Offers its employees unlimited vacation time and $1,000 spending money once per year for a vacation.

Helpscout

This software development company actually has a vacation minimum requirement rather than a maximum. While the company has unlimited time off, each employee is encouraged to take a least four weeks off each year.

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