Kickstarter nixes its 'flexible' vacation policy

Kickstarter CEO: Doing good is as important as making money
Kickstarter CEO: Doing good is as important as making money

Open-ended vacation policies may sound like a dream. But there has always been a healthy skepticism that these loose policies might actually prove more limiting than freeing for employees.

That's what happened at fundraising platform Kickstarter. The company dropped its "flexible" vacation policy last month and now offers a set number of days off.

A company spokesperson said there was confusion about the policy and having a finite number of days to take brings more clarity and promotes better work-life balance.

Kickstarter now offers all its employees a maximum of 25 days vacation a year.

Related: Unlimited vacation: It may not be as cool as it sounds

Unlimited vacation -- known more formally as a "flexible" or "discretionary" time off policy -- used to be just a quirky perk offered by niche tech startups. But then bigger names started offering it, like Virgin and GE and, for a hot minute, Tribune Publishing, which actually rescinded the policy before it ever went into effect.

Given how Americans often don't even use all the days off they're granted, there is concern that a take-all-you-want-so-long-as-you-get-your-work-done vacation policy may mean employees take even less, because they don't know corporate expectations and don't want to jeopardize their standing at work.

So far, it's been hard to tell how the policy has played out both because it's too new at most companies and because companies claim not to keep track of the days taken.

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