Paid Vacation? Not Cool. You Know What’s Cool? Paid, PAID Vacation. – FullContact.

Ideas invade my brain constantly.

Some are good. Some are mediocre. Some are downright awful.

As a kid, I used to wake my parents up in the middle of the night to tell them about my ideas. Over time, I’ve learned that the ideas that keep coming back are the ones that I should pay attention to.

The past few years I’ve had this totally insane idea that just wouldn’t go away. It kept gnawing at me.

Last week, I finally decided to do something about it.

At our all-hands we announced the idea: something I like to call Paid, Paid Vacation. You can view the presentation in its entirety here.

In essence, not only do we provide employees minimum 15 days paid vacation plus the standard Federal holidays, but WE ALSO PAY FOR VACATIONS!

Here’s how it works: once per year, we give each employee $7500 to go on vacation.

There are a few rules:

  1. You have to go on vacation, or you don’t get the money.
  2. You must disconnect.
  3. You can’t work while on vacation.

That’s it – pretty simple. In putting together our new “vacation policy” we came up with some guiding principles:

Guiding Principle #1: It’s Really Important to Disconnect.

In today’s world of Email, iPhones, Androids, Twitter, Facebook and devices on our person 24×7, we’re always connected. It’s not healthy.

Brad Feld gave a great TEDxBoulder Presentation titled The Quarterly Week Off the Grid that will explain this phenomenon far better than I can. Go watch the video now. This post will be waiting on you when you get back.

Coincidentally, I recently got engaged and was tasked with planning the honeymoon.

As long as I can remember, I have always vowed that my honeymoon will have these two characteristics:

  1. It will be in Bora Bora
  2. I am going to go completely off the grid for two weeks.

As I started thinking about the upcoming two weeks off the grid, I started to mildly panic. I was worried that I’d break down. I was worried that my new bride would find me in the hotel business center cranking through emails like some crazed addict.

I’ve tried to go off the grid for extended periods of time before, but have failed frequently.