Need a vacation from work, but don't have the time? Imagine working for a company that offers unlimited vacation time. There's a small, but growing number of companies doing just that.

The number of companies offering unlimited vacation time in the U.S. is between 1 to 2 percent, according to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management. So why are companies like LinkedIn, VMware, Riot Games, GrubHub, and Netflix offering this benefit? It might not be why you think.

According to an article published by Fortune, Riot Games implemented their unlimited vacation time in an effort to get their workers to take time off — a problem that a lot of Americans face.

According to a study by Project: Time Off, Americans are taking less time off now than they did in the 1980s. In 2016, Project: Time Off found that Americans took 16.8 days of vacation, a slight jump from 2015 when workers took an average of 16.2 days of vacation. That compares to an average of 20.3 days from 1976 to 2000. And while Americans took more time off last year than they did in 2015, there's still plenty of workers leaving time on the table. A whopping 662 million vacation days went unused by U.S. workers in 2016, four million more than in 2015.

Other companies offer the incentive as a way to attract high-performing and cutting-edge workers. According to the Fortune article, Workday offers the program to give their workers more flexibility.

Unlimited vacation time does have its critics though.

According to an article by Forbes, some experts think that unlimited vacation time actually leads to workers taking less time off because workers are left to guess how much time their company might find acceptable. Does the policy really mean unlimited? Is there a threshold that employers don't want workers to go beyond? Human resource experts agree that this confusion can all be avoided with clear communication from managers on what exactly the policy means.

And while some people might think unlimited vacation time leads to workers always being off the job, that hasn't been the case for the companies that have implemented that policy. Riot Games told Fortune that they noticed workers are taking about the same amount of time now than when the policy wasn't in place.

In this Forever 39 podcast episode, we discuss unlimited vacation time and whether we would like to see all employers implement it. Would you like to see your employee implement it, or would you rather stick to the traditional policy of two, three or four weeks per year?

Also from this week's Forever 39 podcast — Why labeling your spouse as your best friend is a bad idea. PLUS: Is your cell phone stressing you out? Click on the podcast player above to hear the entire episode.

Share your thoughts on all of them below, on Twitter, on Facebook or at forever39@nj1015.com.

— Annette and Megan, Forever 39

Join us for next week’s podcast when we chat about why men are more likely to marry up, how sitting at our desks is killing us, and why ringing doorbells freak us out so much!

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