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Bruna Schmitz - Human Resources Analyst


- elephant skin - 

We have no vacation policy! Rest when and for as long as you need. 

At Elephant Skin, you choose your vacation; when to take it and as long as you  need. 

Have you ever thought about working for a company where you can take vacation whenever and for as long as you want? How does this 'no vacation policy' work? Adopted here at ES, this ‘non-policy’ is perfectly suited to the company's culture and their commitment to greater freedom in the work environment.

Having operated remotely since its founding, ES proudly identifies as a work environment based on trust, freedom, and autonomy.

This freedom and autonomy make even more sense for a global company working with people from different countries and cultures. Even among professionals of the same nationality, there remain differences in religion, family structure, and lifestyle.

Due to this diversity that naturally exists among people, especially in a company that operates in several countries, we opted for the 'no vacation policy.’

Human Resources analyst Bruna Schmitz explains the advantages of the remote structure:  allowing the company to recruit talent from anywhere in the world and the freedom to create its own work schedule, according to its distinct preferences and lifestyle.

“We chose not to dictate how many rest/vacation days each person will need. We understand that every case is unique; that is, people have different needs, routines, or stages of life from which different scenarios of rest or leisure can emerge that best suit their needs or make more sense to them.”

Elephant Skin is not the only company that has adopted this 'no vacation policy.’ Netflix also operates within this format. The company's CEO, Reed Hastings, argues that being a technology company, Netflix does not have strict working hours, so why set rules for the holidays?
He points out that what matters most in this information age is what the professional can deliver and not necessarily the amount of hours people spend working.

At ES, this 'non-policy' fits very well with a creative agency that deals directly with artists on the team. Our deliveries do not count hours, but measure quality, care for details, and creative potential in each project we carry out. Being rested and inspired is extremely valuable for the work performed here.

Not having a vacation policy: advantages and challenges

The biggest advantage is undoubtedly freedom and autonomy, but we cannot fail to highlight productivity. An HR Mythbusters report, analyzing 125,000 employees, showed that professionals who took more days off performed better when compared to those who worked more days during the year.

Another important highlight from the study showed that, contrary to speculation, professionals given unlimited rest days do not actually take advantage of the freedom they’ve been granted, and end up taking fewer days to rest.

Analyst Bruna explains that one of the challenges of implementing this 'non-policy' is that the company fails to take a position on when and how professionals should take their vacations.  Most employees are used to the traditional vacation format where this freedom and level of trust does not exist.

“This can generate the wrong perception that taking a vacation means that they are not wearing the company's shirt or that they may be poorly evaluated for wanting to rest.  Unfortunately, many organizations perpetuate this culture. And so, here at ES it can be a challenge to promote leisure, physical and mental health care, and free time to spend on valuable personal activities outside of the work routine.”

How is the ‘non-holiday policy’ organized?  

“There is no I in team!” Like all of our decisions, nothing is decided alone, so the decision of when to take time off is best discussed with the team.

It is important to make it clear to everyone at the company that cases of personal commitments, illness, and family issues do not count as vacation.

For long periods, we recommend that professionals talk to their team and pay attention to the workflow of tasks, so that no individual is overloaded with the departure of a team member.

HR's role at ES is to inform people of the existence of this 'non-vacation policy' and guide them so that they can maximize their rest and enhance moments of well-being and leisure. HR, however, does not sanction approval as there is no bureaucracy.

The days off are remunerated and no matter how many days are taken, the professional does not suffer any damage. This helps people feel safe in their choices and encourages rest.

Elephant Care and mental health care  

In January 2022, Burnout Syndrome was classified as an occupational disease by the World Health Organization (WHO). This mental health problem is classified as “chronic work stress that has not been successfully managed.”

It is very important for us to link the 'non-vacation policy' to moments that can be used for self-care, rest, and relaxation. In the internal project 'Elephant Care,’ we warn about the recognition of personal limits and the need for rest.

We help in understanding the signs of overload and exhaustion, and recognizing the main symptoms so that the person is aware of them, in the event that one or more arise during their routine.

And you… what do you think about the 'no vacation policy?’ How would you adapt your routine? We would love to hear your opinion!



Communications Manager - Roberta Lemos | Communication Intern – João Victor Campos
Author – Journalist Daiana Barasa and Juliana Rodrigues | Naiá
Interviewed – Bruna Schmitz - Human Resources Analyst

*All Rights Reserved to Elephant Skin Group Corp.​

01/10/2023 - 3:53 PM EST

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