Friday Late Link – IBM Doesn't Track Employee Holidays (Aug 31, 2007)

This week’s post is a bit late because apparently there is something
called “real life” that happens “outside”, occasionally in places where
there are no “Internets.” Whodathunkit?

Anyhew, I recently
came across an article which noted that most conservative of
corporations, Big Blue itself, IBM, apparently has had a policy since
the mid-1990’s where they don’t track employee holiday time. For anyone in their organization. Period.

every worker’s dream: take as much vacation time as you want, on short
notice, and don’t worry about your boss calling you on it. Cut out
early, make it a long weekend, string two weeks together — as you like.
No need to call in sick on a Friday so you can disappear for a fishing
trip. Just go; nobody’s keeping track…Instead, for the past few years,
employees at all levels have made informal arrangements with their
direct supervisors, guided mainly by their ability to get their work
done on time. Many people post their vacation plans on electronic
calendars that colleagues can view online, and they leave word about
how they can be reached in a pinch.

The article does mention that this often lead to a
situation where people blur the lines between work and home even
further. At IBM, employees actually end up working more than they
otherwise might have due the peer pressure inherent in such a driven
work culture.

The article also notes that companies that
implement similar policies are often technology-based which means that
employees can easily work from outside the office and that this type of
arrangement won’t work in any sector (retail, food services, etc.)
where set hours are required.

So maybe “make your own
holiday schedule” would work for library management. But it likely
wouldn’t for front-line staff. Or would it? Hmmm…

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