Do you feel like you’ve received an unusually high number of out-of-office emails over the last few months? And that everyone you follow on Instagram has been galanting around Europe lately? Us, too. And you wouldn’t be wrong.
Data from the Labor Department shows that more working adults took time off between January and June than they did in the years before the pandemic, according to a recent WSJ article. And in June 2023, the number of employees who took vacation days grew by 11% compared to June 2022, based on data collected from the HR tech firm Gusto.
We, for one, support this trend—and believe that companies, like the ones on this list, should cultivate a culture where employees can take guilt-free time off.
Vacation and time off is just one of the categories we spotlight in the 2023 VIBE Awards, which we created to showcase companies on The Muse with the strongest employee benefits programs. “VIBE” stands for “voted in by employees” because our methodology combines proprietary data about our partners and votes from their employees, who are asked to rank the strength of their company’s perks and benefits. For each of the seven VIBE Awards categories—which also include parental benefits and health and wellness perks—we feature winners from small, medium, and large businesses.
Within the small companies, BrainPOP is celebrated for its flexible PTO policy. As one BrainPOPer says, “The flexibility in scheduling vacation and time off is AMAZING. I don’t feel judged or guilty for taking time off to spend with my family and I appreciate that BrainPOP values all facets of employees’ lives.”
Opendoor—a winner among the medium- and large-size companies—also has a generous vacation policy. But more than that, employees rave about how they never feel bad about taking time off. “Whenever I request time off, there are no questions asked and people are genuinely excited for you to get away from work life,” says an employee.
Check out the full list of winners in the vacation and time off category below.
Who they are: This edtech company creates playful content and experiences that help kids strengthen their critical, computational, and creative thinking skills.
What employees are saying: “As a parent of a special needs child, the flexibility of BrainPOP’s time off policy allows me to focus on my family, and takes the weight off my shoulders of worrying and counting hours.”
Small Girls PR
Who they are: Small Girls PR is a communications and events marketing agency with clients ranging from Kendra Scott to Olay.
What employees are saying: “We have more days off than any other agency I’ve heard of. The company respects PTO as sacred and is good at setting boundaries for employees. It would be unexpected—if not unheard of—to ever be contacted during a day off.”
Who they are: This independent ad agency works with clients in a range of industries, from fashion to healthcare.
What employees are saying: “Good Apple has excellent vacation and time off. At five years, you’re given a one-month-long, paid sabbatical in addition to full vacation days. They also provide a stipend for you to use when you travel. I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity.”
Medium & Large Companies
Who they are: This real estate company has built a digital, end-to-end customer experience that simplifies the process of buying and selling a home.
What employees are saying: “I’m given the flexibility to vacation, rest, and enjoy a balanced life. I love being on a team that helps support each other so we’re all able to unplug when we have time away.”
Who they are: This software company provides supply chain planning solutions to industries ranging from aerospace to consumer products.
What employees are saying: “I love the flexible vacation policy, the week off between Christmas and New Year, and the ‘K Days’ we get off the last Friday of every month are unmatched. They allow us to recharge and refuel.”
Warner Bros. Discovery
Who they are: This global media and entertainment company brings TV, film, sports, news, and gaming to millions of people around the world.
What employees are saying: “Recently I broke my ankle and was thankful for the generous sick leave that meant I didn’t need to worry about money while undergoing surgery and recovery.”
Who they are: This design software company provides CAD and 3D modeling programs to businesses in a variety of industries.
What employees are saying: “Not once have I had an issue with taking time off for sickness, mental health days, or just to enjoy life outside of work! Plus, we get a six-week paid sabbatical every four years we work at Autodesk.”
Who they are: Thomson Reuters provides data and insights to professionals across legal, tax, accounting, compliance, government, and media industries.
What employees are saying: “We have flexible time off and have eight weeks to work from anywhere in the country—plus two company-wide mental health holidays and 16 hours of paid volunteer time. Our time off policy is one of the better ones I’ve ever seen.”
Who they are: TransUnion is a global information and insights company and credit reporting agency.
What employees are saying: “I am currently fighting cancer and TransUnion provides me the flexibility to go to various appointments. I have not needed to take short-term disability and instead take time off as needed.”