Unlimited vacation is a perk that will draw most employees into working for a company. It suggests they understand that there are other things in your life as well as work. It suggests a different culture. A culture of trust.
Yay! 6 month vacation here I come! What? No... but you said...
I currently work in a completely remote team, and I suspect this might be the same for larger on-site teams, but I don't know the last time anyone checked to see if I'm on vacation before messaging me on slack, or emailing me (I actually don't know how to do that for my colleagues). The default thinking is that I must be working.
After 4 months without being able to take any days off, I was told to take a week off between one project ending and another beginning. At short notice there wasn't much me and the family could do, so I ended up planning to spend a couple of days at home and 3 days with my brother in Nottingham.
On the first day I was DM'd on slack to say the next project was starting early. It was a big named client, and that was that.
Unlimited vacation is a myth
Where is the 'taking the piss' line when it comes to vacation?
Having worked for both US and UK companies, 10-15 days in the US and 20-25 in the UK seems to be the norm. I don't know about the Far East, or South America. Is taking 30 days over the space of the year a potential reason to make you redundant the next year? Does only taking a weeks vacation make you look favourable in the boss's eyes? These are real questions that crop up.
Unlimited vacation can leave you feeling guilty, or under even more pressure to perform.
Personally, I think a minimum vacation policy is the way to go. It gives employees a benchmark (and guaranteed time off), but doesn't limit you to it if you need an extra few days later on in the year.
Vacation policy doesn't have a one-size fits all solution. It will largely depend on the company culture, and the trust levels between employer and employees, but it's a well researched that breaks from work improve productivity. 10 days a year is definitely too few; unlimited, ironically, turns out to be too few too.