IBM is offering a voluntary pilot program called TakeTime this summer. The concept is rather simple: with management approval you can take between 10 and 20 days inclusive off in the months of June, July, and August and get paid 1/3 of your pay for the days you take off.
The days need not be taken contiguously and the money is taken out of your September paychecks in equal amounts allowing for folks to plan their cash flow. The days off are separate and distinct from your vacation. During the time you take off you’re still a considered a full-time employee without any change in your insurance coverage, vacation accrual, etc.
IMHO this is a very exciting program because IBM is a stickler about vacation: you can’t roll unused vacation over and you can’t buy back vacation days — what you have based on your tenure is it. For me that means 3 weeks of vacation which have been eaten up by travelling back to Texas for holidays the past two years.
Originally I wanted to take the full 20 days off but that didn’t cash-flow well with travel expenses we’ll have over the next few months and the tuition for Benjamin’s summer classes. Instead I opted for the minimum 10 days. I’ll be taking them every Friday in the months of July and August (8 as July the 3rd is a site holiday and I have off anyway) and 2 floating dates that I can use whenever in July or August.
What will I be doing with my Fridays off? Some of those will be spent visiting friends during some of our travel. Others will be spent doing some coding for PGDP. And yet others may be spent reading a book by the pool :)