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Floating Holidays: A Win-Win Benefit

December 16, 2023

Striking a balance between work and personal life has become increasingly challenging. As employers strive to be more inclusive and flexible, the concept of floating holidays has emerged as a valuable tool to help employees maintain a balance.

Floating holidays offer employees the opportunity to choose when they take a day off. There is a significance to floating holidays, how they benefit both employees and employers, and why they are an essential component of modern workplace culture. Unlike traditional, fixed holidays such as Christmas or New Year’s Day, floating holidays allow individuals to select the date that best suits their personal needs. This flexibility empowers employees to celebrate culturally significant days, attend family events or simply take a well-deserved break when it is most convenient for them.

The Importance of Flexibility

Promotes Work-Life Balance: Floating holidays play a pivotal role in promoting work-life balance. Employees can plan their time off around family gatherings, special occasions or personal milestones, reducing the stress associated with balancing work commitments and personal life.

Inclusivity and Diversity: Not everyone celebrates the same holidays. Floating holidays acknowledge the diverse backgrounds and beliefs of employees. This inclusivity fosters a more welcoming and equitable work environment where employees feel valued and respected.

Enhanced Employee Well-Being: By giving employees control over their time off, floating holidays can significantly boost overall well-being. Reduced stress levels and improved mental health contribute to increased job satisfaction and productivity.

Benefits for Employers

Improved Employee Morale: Providing the option for floating holidays demonstrates an employer’s commitment to employee happiness and work-life balance. This, in turn, boosts morale, leading to a more engaged and motivated workforce.

Attraction and Retention of Talent: In a competitive job market, companies that offer flexible benefits like floating holidays can attract top talent and retain experienced employees. This benefit can serve as a valuable differentiator when recruiting and retaining staff.

Increased Productivity: Well-rested and content employees tend to be more productive. By allowing employees to take time off when it is most convenient for them, employers can help maintain a higher level of productivity throughout the year.

Implementing Floating Holidays

To successfully implement floating holidays, companies should consider the following strategies:

Clear Policies: Establish clear guidelines and policies regarding the allocation and usage of floating holidays. Ensure that employees understand the process for requesting and using these days.

Equal Opportunities: Make sure floating holidays are available to all employees without discrimination. Avoid favoritism or bias when granting time off requests.

Communication: Maintain open lines of communication with employees regarding the availability of floating holidays, as well as any changes in policies. Transparency is key to building trust.

Encourage Planning: Encourage employees to plan their floating holidays in advance. This allows for better coordination within the workplace and minimizes disruptions.

According to the American Society of Employer’s 2024 Holiday Schedule & Practices Survey, of the 211 employers polled, 58 percent do not offer floating holidays; 21 percent offer one floating holiday; and 11 percent offer two floating holidays.

Floating holidays are more than just an HR policy; they represent a commitment to employees’ well-being and diversity. By offering flexibility in time off, employers can create a more inclusive and balanced work environment while acquiring the benefits of increased morale and productivity. Floating holidays can be viewed as balance, allowing employees to lead more satisfying lives both inside and outside the office.


By Emily Price; originally published in SBAM’s November/December 2023 issue of Focus magazine

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