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Richard Branson Wants Everyone to Have Unlimited Vacation

Richard Branson Wants Everyone to Have Unlimited Vacation

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Virgin Group founder Richard Branson believes people should be able to take time off work whenever they want — no questions asked.

“It is left to the employee alone to decide if and when he or she feels like taking a few hours a day, a week or a month off,” the billionaire said in an excerpt from his new book The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership that was posted to his blog.

Branson said he’s introduced the “non-policy” at Virgin offices in the United States and the United Kingdom, and if all goes according to plan, he said he plans to encourage all of the company’s subsidiaries to stop counting vacation time.

The “non-policy” works under the assumption that employees will only take breaks from their jobs when they feel comfortable that their absence will not damage the business, the team or their careers, Branson said.

The mogul said he was first inspired to try out the policy after he said his daughter showed him a news article that mentioned how Netflix does not track vacation time.

“I have a friend whose company has done the same thing and they’ve apparently experienced a marked upward spike in everything — morale, creativity and productivity have all gone through the roof,” Branson recalled his daughter telling him.

With unlimited vacation time, Branson’s employees will have time to seek out adventures like their leader, such as taking a hot air balloon across an ocean, hanging out on a private island or planning a trip to space, if they’re so inclined.

Branson isn’t the first billionaire to publicly advocate for a more flexible work-life balance.

In an interview over the summer, Google co-founder Larry Page said people shouldn’t have to work so hard.

“If you really think about the things you need to make yourself happy — housing, security, opportunity for your kids…it’s not that hard for us to provide those things,” Page said in an interview moderated by fellow billionaire, Vinod Khosla, that was posted to YouTube.

“The idea that everyone needs to work frantically to meet peoples’ needs is not true,” he said.

Page said the world should be living in a “time of abundance” in which robots and machines could help meet everyone’s basic needs much more easily.

With a more productive society, Page said he believed people would be happy to “have more time with their family or to pursue their own interests.”

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