Billionaire ‘man of the people’ Richard Branson has just significantly upped his popularity by insisting that everyone should be able to take time off work - whenever they want.
“It is left to the employee alone to decide if and when he or she feels like taking a few hours a day, a week or a month off,” the Virgin Group entrepreneur writes in an excerpt from his new book, The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership, published via his blog.
He went on to declare the introduction of the new “non-policy” in Virgin offices across the United States and United Kingdom, which works by giving employees the responsibility of only taking leave from their jobs when they feel their absence will not harm the business.
Branson got the idea after reading an article about the Netflix business model, and how they do not track vacation time.
“I have a friend whose company has done the same thing and they've apparently experienced a marked upward spike in everything - morale, creativity and productivity have all gone through the roof,” he said.
On the subject of great business ideas, last week, Branson claimed that it was he who gave late Apple founder Steve Jobs the original inspiration for iTunes - a move that effectively sped up the closure of his own Virgin Megastores chain eight months after it was launched in 2001.
“On April Fool’s Day 1986 I gave an interview to a big-name music publication and told them that Virgin had been secretly developing a ‘Music Box’, on which we had stored every music track we could lay our hands on, and from which music lovers would, for a small fee, be able to download any individual song or album they wanted,” he told the i paper.
“Many years later Steve Jobs told me he had been utterly taken in by the idea. While we will never know for sure, I have always wondered if the April Fool’s prank triggered the birth of iTunes and the iPod – which ironically contributed to the death of our Virgin Megastores and changed the entire music industry.”Reuse content