The CEO of SteelHouse gives staff $2000 each year to use on their annual leave


Often, even when staff are given annual leave – they don’t always take it. Using the full amount of annual leave plays a big role in having a healthy work-life balance. And not always taking this time can have repercussions.

However, Mark Douglas, CEO of marketing and advertising company SteelHouse seems to have found the solution. According to Business Insider, he gives each employee $2000 each year to spend on their annual leave.

He says: 'If you have a caged lion that was born in captivity, and then you open the cage, they back up more into the cage. They don't start running free.

'When we first started telling people they had unlimited vacation, they didn't even know how to interpret that. Our culture is really simple. It's based on trust and ambition.'

The results have spoken for themselves, according to Douglas. In the past three years, only five out of 250 have left the company – three of which were unrelated to the job. 'We have virtually zero turnover,' he added.

Some staff have asked for the money as a bonus instead of a holiday however Douglas is adamant they use the cash to relax away on vacation.

He continued to explain that he wants his team – many who are younger than 30 – to one day create a company with the same approach. 'The first time I got exposed to real corporate culture that had elements of what we're talking about, it changed my perspective for the rest of my life.

'It's one thing to say 'You have three weeks’ vacation,' like most companies do. It's another thing to say 'You have cash, and if you don't go on vacation and spend this money, the money literally goes to waste.' It's another level of saying this is real.'

Stay tuned every Friday as we'll discuss new and innovative benefits that companies have implemented for employees. If your firm has recently introduced fun and interesting staff perks, be sure to get in touch with by dropping an email to