MadMen Inspires HubSpot's New Vacation Policy

    by Brian Halligan

    Date

    January 6, 2010 at 8:00 AM

    madmen

    I have been watching MadMen recently and it is remarkable how much corporate culture has changed in the last 50 years.  I suspect  50 years from now, someone will build a hit show that pokes fun at today's corporate culture.  At HubSpot we are building a forward looking culture that is routed in the future, not the past.  To that end, we announced our new vacation policy this week.  Our new vacation policy is that there is no vacation policy, no paid time off forms, no vacation rollover, nothing.  If people want to take time off, they can take time off.

    So, why the heck is HubSpot being so liberal with its vacation policy?  A few reasons.

    1. The state-of-the-art vacation plan these days is a relic of an era when people worked 9 to 5 in an office, like our fathers did. The internet and mobile devices have enabled our employees to work where they are comfortable (often at home) and the hours they are comfortable (often in the middle of the night).

    2. I always thought is was strange when an employee would hand me a paid time off form for a weekday, but never handed me a credit form for the Saturday and Sunday they just put in.  Since we are not tracking weekend days worked as credit, the weekday time off just didn't seem fair.     

    3. We hire very smart people who are very focused on contributing to the growth of our company.  We trust that the folks will use "common sense" with regards to taking an appropriate amount of time off.

    Many thanks to the producers of MadMen who helped us look at the future through a unique lens.  Many thanks to the smart folks at Netflix who exposed their culture deck for all to learn from.  Many thanks to the authors of Cluetrain Manifesto that helped us think about how a company should run in a post internet era.

    We have recently hired a former professor of ours from MIT/Sloan who taught our entrepreneurial human resources class to look at other ways in which we can build an advanced culture based on our working style.

    -- @bhalligan