(Bloomberg) -- A UK recruiting firm is bucking the trend for unlimited vacation after finding the policy was a source of anxiety for its workers.

Ollie Scott, the chief executive officer of Unknown, said the limitless time off made employees feel guilty and question how many days they were really supposed to take. In the time the policy was in place, no one took more than 21 days a year, he said in a LinkedIn post.

“It set a sort of weird ‘guilty standard,’” Scott wrote. “Research (not mine) shows that humans work best when they’re given clarity.”

Unlimited paid vacation policies have grown in popularity among tech firms that see them as an advantage in recruiting, and this week Goldman Sachs Group Inc. revealed that its partners and managing directors are now able to take as many vacation days as desired.

Limitless time off is most commonly offered at companies with demanding cultures, and surveys indicate that Unknown’s experience is not unique. A 2017 study of data from 125,000 employees by Namely, a human resources platform, found that workers with unlimited polices took less vacation per year, averaging 13 days, versus 15 days taken by those with traditional paid-time-off policies. 

Yet the policies are a draw for talent. A 2019 survey of 2,500 workers by MetLife found that unlimited paid time off is desired by 72% of respondents, ahead of benefits like sabbaticals, on-site therapy or concierge services. One survey showed that half of workers prefer unlimited paid vacation to higher pay.

There’s no need to feel sorry for the employees at Unknown, however. Scott said in his post that workers will now get 32 days of paid vacation per year, plus bank holidays, which employees will be encouraged to take via a use-it-or-lose-it policy.

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