Why does Fidel API offer unlimited holidays?

Trust by design is a big part of Fidel API’s culture. Teams and individuals are encouraged to manage their own time and find the balance that works for them.

To garner a culture that gives people full trust and autonomy, Fidel API knew half-measures like allowing people to start thirty minutes later than normal every now and then or letting people go for the occasional gym session in the middle of the afternoon would not be enough.

The company wanted to build an environment of total trust, that would empower people to manage their calendar how they chose, set ambitious goals and get the job done, while performing at their best. As such, performance isn’t measured by cumulative hours worked or always reaching your battery limits by week’s end. At Fidel API, it’s about consistency, flexibility and most importantly, the tangible quality of the work we put in.

A Different Approach

One of the ways the company fosters that sort of environment is through a modern, more radical, approach to how the team takes time off. The goal is to have a healthy workforce that feels safe, justified and encouraged to take holiday when they want to, and not only when they need to.

There had to be an alternative to people counting down remaining annual time off and rationing downtime, whether it was booking a family holiday to Mexico, or simply having a day off to rest and recuperate. By treating people like adults, companies can trust them to behave that way. Otherwise, why would they have been hired in the first place, right?

There are some arguments that suggest unlimited paid time off actually leads to people taking less time off overall. This feels like a consequence of unclear expectations and processes, rather than some fatal flaw in the policy itself. Fidel API employs a few measures to help make sure everyone is actually taking advantage of this perk.

📊 Regular manager syncs

The HR team takes this topic seriously and wants to make sure no one gets left behind, regardless of the team they sit in or their level of responsibility. By the end of each quarter, the HR team gives a heads up to all managers if they notice there are team members who aren’t taking PTO (personal time off) so they can address that topic with the person and encourage them to book time off.

🎄We take the holiday time *very* seriously

As per tradition, the last couple years at Fidel API have featured lovely end-of-year celebrations (even when there was no choice but to host them over zoom!) Getting together to close out a year and let off steam are really important, especially around the holidays! This includes making sure the team turns off for a period. For the past several years, between Christmas and New Years, everyone at Fidel API goes on holiday mode. Those who are client-facing use strictly temporary rotations, so they can help those who need urgent support, and get as much downtime as possible.

⚖️ Creating a balanced work/life culture  

During the lockdowns over the past few years, we noticed some people were not taking time off because they had nowhere to go and didn’t want to take time off in vain. To mitigate this, Fidel API started to run several, mandatory days off to collectively switch off and recharge.

🤝 Matching the average

When it comes to the minimum holiday taken, you might be wondering how we handle this from a legal perspective. Simply, Fidel API will ensure that everyone takes the time off they’re entitled to and need to take, in line with their local labor laws. The difference is, if they want to take more, we encourage them to and support it - no questions asked.

There are no ‘perfect’ policies and it’s challenging to find a “one size fits all” approach, especially with an internationally distributed team. Therefore, the core principle of unlimited holidays is to offer everyone at Fidel API the maximum autonomy, flexibility and trust possible to do their best work, in their chosen environment, and, ultimately, enjoy working here.

People with that freedom can truly go above and beyond their role, find greater success, but also have a more meaningful balance in their work and personal lives.

To learn a little more about Fidel API’s company culture and working life, check out our other talent blogs: Open, honest, equal | How we hire at Fidel API and How We Grow at Fidel API.

Finally, you can browse all open positions here, if you like what you've seen and are interested in joining us.