Duvet Days: What are they & why you might need one?

Your alarm goes off and you’re filled with anxiety. You just feel rubbish and, even though all you want to do is stay in bed, you have to go to work. Or do you? Have you ever heard of a “Duvet Day”?‍Believe it or not, offering your team a “Duvet Day” can benefit you just as much as it can your team!

Company Culture
Benefits 101

⋅ min read

We’ve all had those days…

Your alarm goes off and you’re filled with anxiety. You just feel rubbish and, even though all you want to do is stay in bed, you have to go to work. Or do you? Have you ever heard of a “Duvet Day”?

Believe it or not, offering your team a “Duvet Day” can benefit you just as much as it can your team!

Read on to find out why…

What is a duvet day?

Sometimes when someone is having a really bad day – whether they’re sick or not – they might opt to call in sick to work. However, this can often fill employees with guilt and anxiety for the entire day, which can ultimately exaggerate the problem.

A duvet day is essentially a day that your employees can use to stay at home, no questions asked, without feeling guilty about it. 

It’s separate from holiday leave and sick leave, in that it’s a one-off day where you can essentially take time to yourself to rest and do whatever it takes to feel better, without thinking about your work responsibilities. 

The benefits of Duvet Days

So, you’re probably thinking that a duvet day is just another day off you’re giving your employees. But in reality, it comes with some great up-sides for you too!

Increased productivity 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that depression and anxiety cost the global economy $1 trillion each year in lost productivity. Not only that but research by Gallup shows that engaged employees are 21% more productive than their disengaged counterparts.

So, although at first glance it may seem counterintuitive to say that a duvet day can actually positively affect your organisation’s productivity levels, offering a guilt-free day of rest to your employees, no questions asked, prevents unmotivated employees from coming into work when they really don’t want to be there. 

Plus, letting your employees take a day off when needed demonstrates you genuinely care about their wellbeing and builds a positive company culture. It goes without saying that if people use duvet days responsibly, they’ll be healthier and more productive.

Reduced absenteeism

Some of the time, employees will call in sick to work when they’re not actually sick. This means that the number of sick days recorded for your team is probably much higher than necessary. 

With absenteeism costing employers on average 8.9 working days per employee every year, the cost of unplanned leave should be taken seriously. If we know that a large number of recorded sick days can be attributed to what is effectively a ‘duvet day’, then why not call it what it is? This way, you’ll be able to get a more accurate read on sickness rates. 

Tackle burnout 

Similarly, when someone needs to take an unexpected day off from work, it could be an indicator of potential burnout. Duvet Days are a way to help prevent employees from reaching breaking points and can be a useful tool to support your team’s wellbeing. 

According to a Gallup study, burned-out employees are 63% more likely to take a sick day and are 23% more likely to visit the emergency room. Relieving some of the pressure for employees with a duvet day every now and again could be the difference between the odd day off when needed, and a long period of absence.

Attract top talent 

It’s no secret that offering unique benefits and policies, such as Duvet Days, can differentiate you in the talent market. Companies that prioritise employee wellbeing and provide flexibility when it comes to time off often attract candidates seeking a supportive and balanced work environment.

Plus, we know that flexibility is key when it comes to talent attraction. For reference, Glassdoor found that 60% of job seekers consider work-life balance a critical factor in choosing their next job. Not only that, but increasingly Gen-Z and Millenial employees are demanding more flexibility from their employers — e.g., Deloitte found that 64% of millennials would like to have more flexibility in when and where they work .

It’s quite simple — Duvet days are a compassionate way of showing understanding towards employees as human beings, which is pretty great for your employer brand too!

Are there alternatives to duvet days?

Yes! Although Duvet Days are a great way to show your team that you care about their wellbeing, the framing of them might not be quite right for your company. 

Some alternatives to Duvet Days that capture the same meaning include: wellbeing days, mental health days, unlimited paid time of (PTO), flexible working and summer fridays. While each of these alternatives is different, they all support employee wellbeing while showing them trust and kindness. The most important thing is that you find what works for you and your team!

Duvet Days offer a unique approach to nurturing a company culture where employee wellbeing and productivity can thrive! By providing guilt-free days off, organisations can prevent burnout, reduce absenteeism, and attract top talent in a competitive job market. Embracing initiatives like Duvet Days not only demonstrates a commitment to employee happiness but also creates a positive work culture where individuals feel valued, supported, and empowered to perform at their best.

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