Why We Have A Burning Man Policy

Ah, yes Labor Day is upon us and with that many thousands of employees flock towards a dried lakebed near Gerlach, Nevada to cavort and carouse to their hearts’ content while remembering to remain properly hydrated.

And while many of those aforementioned employees have scrimped and saved their vacation time to attend this event, some companies, like Traction just have a Burning Man Policy that allows employees to take the time even if they don’t have any left.

On page 10 of Traction’s employee handbook, right in between the sections on “Voting Leave” and “Military Leave,” is a little section called “The Burning Man Policy.”

This policy states that Traction will prioritize requests for time-off—even if people have no vacation time left—to attend events that inspire or enhance professional and/or creative development such as Burning Man or SxSW.

How fabulous is this? It’s evident that this company “gets” its employees and seizes upon opportunities for creativity and innovation in events like Burning Man.

Yes, benefits and compensation are important, but these days it takes more to be an employer of choice. Understanding what employees want along with what they need is crucial to employee retention and satisfaction.

Besides, what’s a few extra days here and there when you have a great team?

That spark is what makes us special. It’s what enables us to generate ideas. To think outside the 468×60 pixel box. To have a culture where people can embrace their own individuality and contribute it to a collaborative mechanism for the manifestation of creativity. To have a company that is ten years old and less than ten people have ever chosen to leave.


Photo by Scott Beale