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Would You “Buy” Extra Time Off From Work?

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(flickr.com user jan_krutisch)

Before I was in radio, I worked in a ski shop. There was a lot of downtime there in between people picking up and dropping off skis. That lead to a lot of pointless conversations. However, one still sticks in my mind.

The owner and I were talking about what we would buy if we had all the money in the world. While I was naming off material possessions, he didn’t even hesitate when he said, “I wish I could have more time.”

I didn’t quite understand it then. I mean, I had all the time in the world. I was in my 20s and had my whole life ahead of me. Why would you buy more time when there are beautiful houses and cars and cool stuff to buy?

Now that I’m married and have a family of my own, I think I’m understanding where he came from. There’s just never enough time to be with the ones you love.

However, a few companies have found a way around it. Some companies have found a way to allow their workers to buy and sell their time off. Essentially, if you don’t use your vacation days, you can sell them back to the company, and if you find that you need a little extra time, you can buy those unused days.

So if you want to spend a little extra time with your newborn baby or take that dream trip with your wife on your 25th wedding anniversary, you’ll be able to do it without fear of losing your job.

It’s called a flexible vacation plan, and about 9 percent of American companies are using it.  Would you buy or sell your vacation time if your company offered you the option?

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