American workers are not so good at taking vacations. According to data from the U.S. Travel Association, we left an average of more than four days (or 29% of earned paid time off) on the table in 2021. And only 25% used up every single PTO day—despite eight of out 10 workers acknowledging that vacations are important to their overall health and well-being.
Our takeaway? Companies should make it easier for employees to get away from work without feeling any burden or stress for logging off. And that’s exactly what the businesses below have to offer—along with other perks like minimum time off policies and month-long sabbaticals.
Vacation and time off is just one of the seven perk and benefits categories we highlight in the 2022 VIBE Awards. “VIBE” stands for “voted in by employees.” As the name suggests, our methodology combined our own data as well as votes from employees, who ranked the strength of their company’s perks and benefits. Each category includes winners and honorable mentions for small (up to 250 employees), medium (251 to 5,000), and large (more than 5,000) companies.
Within the small-size companies, Cureatr took one of the top spots, and employees raved about its unlimited PTO policy. As one employee says, “I am allowed to take time off as needed. This has impacted both my career and personal life because I don’t have to take off for miscellaneous things and/or for a mental health day.”
Workers at Carta—a winner among the medium-sized companies—get full support from their team leaders to unplug. Case in point, according to one employee: “Carta’s minimum time off (MTO) policy is unmatched. I’ve never worked at a company, especially in tech, where people actually take a significant amount of time off. My manager encourages me and leads by example by taking time off as well. MTO has been a game changer for me personally. More companies should adopt this policy!”
In the large-company category, Autodesk ranked high thanks in part to its generous sabbatical program, which allows team members to take six weeks off every four years. Says one employee, “It’s a key component that keeps long-time employees like myself fully engaged and rejuvenated.”
Read on for the full list of winners in the vacation and time off category.
Who they are: This healthtech company helps healthcare organizations and patients manage their medications so they’re taken effectively and safely.
What employees are saying: “I use my unlimited time off to make sure that I am not missing life milestones, like graduations and birthdays, that might fall on a random Thursday. I do this in addition to taking week-long vacations. Knowing that I do not have to sweat about my work schedule increases my quality of life immensely.”
Who they are: This tech company and app helps youth sports teams stay connected, live stream games, keep score, and more.
What employees are saying: “The unlimited vacation policy has greatly reduced the stress associated with taking time off. My wife and I had three weddings to attend this year, and without this policy, I would have been stressing about saving enough PTO. The culture here allows for a great work-life balance that is practically unmatched among my peers’ employers.”
Who they are: This fintech company offers a platform to businesses and consumers that streamlines digital lending and payments.
What employees are saying: “I had a vacation planned roughly two weeks after my start date, and it was never even a question if they would let me go as planned despite it being during orientation. Further, they let us take mental health and personal days at our leisure, making our well-being their first priority.”
Honorable Mention: BrainPOP
Honorable Mention: RapidSOS
Honorable Mention: Stride
Who they are: This fintech company specializes in capitalization table management and valuation software and helps founders, companies, and employees manage equity.
What employees are saying: “I didn’t know how to take time off before Carta. For my first vacation with the company, my manager worked with me to determine a coverage plan. It’s truly changed the way I work. I’m more communicative with my teammates and plan ahead better, which allows me to take off more time when I need it without missing a beat.”
Who they are: The healthtech company is focused on accelerating cancer research and improving patient care.
What employees are saying: “We have unlimited PTO that isn’t just smoke and mirrors. Our CTO herself made sure we all knew she was taking the whole month of September off, and that we should do the same! (Not all at once, of course.)”
Who they are: This software company provides supply chain planning solutions to industries ranging from aerospace to consumer products.
What employees are saying: “We have unlimited vacation, which really helped me when I needed to move across the country. I was able to take two weeks to turn the drive into an enjoyable vacation rather than a rushed chore. We also get the last Friday of every month off—the perfect chance to go on long weekend trips and disconnect from work, which improves my mental health.”
Honorable Mention: Opendoor
Honorable Mention: Stack Overflow
Who they are: This design software company provides CAD and 3D modeling programs to businesses in a variety of industries.
What employees are saying: “I can always take my vacation days when I want. I have a team that covers for me while I am off, so I know I don’t need to worry about work when being away. Between Christmas and New Year, we have all days off and are fully paid. During summer months we have shorter working hours.”
Who they are: This biotech company researches, develops, and distributes therapies for neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.
What employees are saying: “I have taken advantage of the sabbatical program twice! I also used caregiver leave this year to care for my father while he was on hospice. I was able to spend precious days with him before he passed while leaving work completely behind. I will forever be grateful for Biogen for that benefit.”
Palo Alto Networks
Who they are: This cybersecurity company provides cutting-edge defense against cyber attacks.
What employees are saying: “This is a place where your time is truly yours and we are held accountable to our results rather than the amount of time we spend in front of our computer. It’s truly freeing!”
Who they are: This tech company has moved beyond ride sharing to offer food and package delivery, courier services, and freight transportation.
What employees are saying: “My manager has trusted me with taking PTO and even encouraged me to take as much time as needed. Uber not only offers a generous time off, but also wants employees to use it for well being, career growth, or to be with loved ones.”