The premise is simple - get your work done and take unlimited paid time off. That is one of the perks local cloud-based payroll and human capital management software solutions company, PaySpace, is offering to its employees.
Sandra Crous, MD of PaySpace
The company recently announced that it has implemented a limitless leave policy in an attempt to enhance the well-being and work-life balance of its employees and improve productivity and efficiency.
The idea of unlimited paid time off became a reality in the last few years when companies like Hubspot, GrubHub and Netflix were among the first to offer this perk to employees. In 2019, Investec introduced this flexible leave system in South Africa, and now, PaySpace has joined a gradually growing list of companies offering this benefit.
We chat to Sandra Crous, managing director at PaySpace, about the new leave policy and helping employees maintain a work-life balance.
Briefly tell us about the Limitless Leave policy...
Limitless Leave is the simple concept of allowing our colleagues to take time off when they need to, without placing a limit on the number of leave days they’re allowed to take.
Why did you decide to implement this leave policy at PaySpace?
At PaySpace, we pride ourselves in the value we have in our colleagues. We have experienced first-hand how the lines between work-life and home-life began to blur when the world was forced (for the most part) into a remote working model. With everything else that’s happening on a global scale, as well as the personal challenges and changes we’re all facing, it was a major priority for us to look after our colleagues and give them the flexibility to recharge or take personal time off, as and when they need to.
We felt that a proactive and agile reaction to preventing burnout was more important than sticking to traditional policies that are no longer relevant in the world we operate in today. One of our core values focuses on customer and colleague success and it is equally important for us to see our colleagues enjoy their jobs, know that they are valued and to see them truly engaged.
Has this been implemented by other companies globally, and is it achieving desired results?
Some companies have tried this, yes, and with mixed results. I know of companies that found an adverse reaction in that their employees ended up taking even fewer leave days than before. However, Netflix, for example, was able to implement the same concept with tremendous success.
It is important to lead by example and show your colleagues that you provide a safe environment for them to take time off, but it is equally important to ensure everybody understands the responsibility that comes with this freedom. Limitless leave in no way means that you can abandon unfinished work. The responsibility and accountability for your work remains as it were.
What are the benefits of allowing employees to take unlimited leave?
As I touched on earlier, there are obviously the immediate benefits in supporting employees to protect their mental and physical health from burnout. Of course, happy employees naturally perform better and with more energy, meaning the effect of limitless leave for employees trickles down directly to our customers. Happy employees make for happy customers!
In the end, supporting employees internally allows us all to build a better business, and to create a space where highly talented people can perform to their own satisfaction too. When you employ the type of talent that makes us proud of our colleagues at PaySpace, there is a mutual trust that comes with the relationship because you know that these people are intrinsically motivated and do not require supervision on a micro-level.
What other ways can companies use to encourage a healthy work-life balance in the modern work environment?
I think very clear communication around mutual expectations would be the cornerstone. As an employer, it is important to know that your teams understand exactly what is expected of them and that those expectations are set within reason and with the best interests of your organisation, your customers and your employees in mind.
This communication should go both ways - your teams should be able to clearly communicate what is happening ‘on the ground’ and the entire business model should be designed around agile growth and response strategies. This is especially true for PaySpace as a technology company. With job roles that can sometimes become quite fluid, it requires very clear communication and interaction to ensure projects are completed to the highest standards. This also helps to ensure the best use and application of knowledge and skills within teams.