Such a happy topic.

But not so much in the Philippines.

It comes with stress there.

We’re pretty generous when it comes to giving paid time off here at We tell our people they can take as much time off as they want.

But I have always felt like my people are hesitant to take vacations.

We (me and my business partner Dan) want them to take vacations. We want them to have a break from work. I want to share what I can enjoy because of their hard work. I want them to be healthy. Giving them as much time off as they want is one way of doing that.

I thought this was something unique to our company. Then I got this email from Andrea.

When I hired my OFS in Oct 2020 I told her she got 10 US holidays and she was welcome to exchange them for Holidays she preferred. She was also granted 2 weeks of paid vacation upon completing 6 months. She has taken hardly any vacation time, so I addressed it – asking if it was cultural or something else. She let me know it was cultural and that previous employers discouraged vacation time. I assured her we wanted her to take a vacation to come back refreshed and renewed and ready to work again. She was happy to hear that!

Regarding the cultural aspect of not taking a vacation, Filipinos are eager to please. This is part of what makes hiring them so amazing. When they find a job they love, they want to do everything they can to keep it. So to show their dedication, they avoid taking leaves as much as possible.

It could also be that they want to save up their leaves for something important. Like if there’s a death or serious illness in the family.

In our case, we let them take all that time off with no limits, and they still don’t want to take it.

I know that some employers discourage vacations. I understand why they do that, but I don’t think it’s healthy for your Filipino workers long-term. We all need a break every once in a while, even the most hard-working, dedicated OFS. If you discourage your OFS from taking a vacation, it could be one of the reasons why they disappear.

Encourage your people to take a break.  Encourage them to come back refreshed. Encourage time off.


My most recent vacation saw my daughter finish 5th at Mountain Bike National Championships.  I’m a proud papa.