Netflix CEO: I take 6 weeks of vacation each year

reed hastings netflix
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings takes at least six weeks of vacation each year.

Ample vacation time is key to a company's success, he believes.

"You often do your best thinking (when) you're off hiking in some mountain or something and you get a different perspective on something," Hastings said Tuesday, speaking at The New York Times' Dealbook conference in New York. "I take a lot of vacation and I'm open about it internally to try to set a good example."

Netflix (NFLX) has an unlimited vacation policy. In August, Netflix also offered its employees unlimited parental leave within the first year after a child is born or adopted.

Related: Netflix to offer unlimited parental leave

Hastings admits there's two dangers to the new parental leave policy. Employees could feel peer pressure not to take as much time as they want -- a scenario Hastings says the company goes to great lengths to avoid.

The other is that someone truly takes unlimited time off for years, hardly working at all. The second scenario is highly unlikely, he believes.

Hastings says Netflix's vacation and parental leave policies generate employee loyalty and a desire to help the company improve.

"What we're trying to do is earn loyalty and trust -- that they really care about Netflix, in addition to caring about their family," Hastings said.

Hastings argues that the "work-life balance," conversation is the wrong approach.

Related: Amazon just stepped up its parental benefits

"It should be "work-life integration," he said. In other words, finding ways for personal life and work life to co-exist, and not view them as completely separate from each other.

To illustrate "balance" verse "integration," Hastings uses an example of a couple that agrees not to look at their cell phones while at the dinner table, but occasionally might respond to emails late at night after dinner.

"It's really about successful work-life integration...that modern, successful integration," Hastings said. "We all are learning as a society how to do it and not have us become neurotic or controlled or overworked."

Netflix has been one of the biggest growth stories in recent years. It has nearly 70 million subscribers, but growth is starting slow this year.

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