‘Duvet Days’ are becoming increasingly popular in the pressured modern workplace. The idea is pretty simple: employees get allocated a certain number of ‘duvet days’, which they can use (more or less) at random. Often, they’re used as ‘mental health days’ - days to relax and wind down when overburdened and the thought of work is just too much. In the past, people who’ve needed to take random days off might have ‘pulled a sickie’ - phoned into work pretending to be ill. Duvet days get rid of the guilt and stress of pulling sickies, and have a lot of other benefits besides. If your workplace hasn’t introduced duvet days yet, here’s why they should.
If work has been getting to you, a duvet day could be just the ticket for letting the stress melt away. Sometimes, if you’re feeling burned out, a day doing nothing is the best thing you can do for yourself. A duvet day will give your brain time to process its anxieties without piling on more in their place. You’ll return to work refreshed, restored, and rejuvenated.
Strange though it may seem, taking a duvet day can make you a lot more productive. Far from being a lazy thing to do, duvet days combat burnout and keep your energy levels up. Dragging yourself in to work every day when you’re exhausted means that you won’t be firing on all cylinders as time goes on, and your productivity will suffer. If you take the occasional day off to replenish your energy levels, however, you will achieve more (and higher quality) work than would otherwise be the case.
Boost your immune system
Stress and overwork wear us down, physically as well as mentally. Tired, strained people are much more susceptible to physical illnesses than energised, motivated people. Overall, the time taken off for duvet days could easily be a lot less than the time taken off for sick days, resulting in less employee absence overall. So, it makes a lot of sense from an employer’s point of view to introduce duvet days as an anti-sickness policy. Talk to your boss about it!
Improve mental health
Mental health issues are the leading cause of being signed off from work in modern Britain. Today’s workplace is often a high-pressure environment, and the rise of digital communications have made it difficult to leave work in the office. All of this can contribute to stress, anxiety, and other things which lead to poor mental health. However, taking a day to concentrate on self-care every now and again can turn the tide. Self-care and recuperation are key for keeping your mental health on the straight and narrow - which is not only good for you, it’s good for your work too.
Improve workplace morale
Taking time off to refresh and de-stress isn’t just good for you - it’s also good for everyone around you. If you’re overworked and burning out, you’re likely to be irritable or just plain miserable around your colleagues. And that’s bad for workplace wellbeing. The happier and healthier you are, the happier and healthier your work environment will be. What’s more, it sets a great tone for your workplace culture to be able to honestly ask for a duvet day when you need one, rather than pulling a sickie!