What is a duvet day and should we encourage them?

History of the duvet day 

It is said that duvet days originated in the UK in 1997. August One Communications introduced the scheme that allowed employees time off that was not pre-planned or sickness. The idea behind duvet days was to reduce the number of sick days that were taken, specifically the days when an employee is ‘pulling a sickie’.

Benefits of the duvet day 

Introducing duvet days can ensure that employees feel that they are being treated with respect. As a result they become more productive in the workplace. The scheme also allows employees to avoid lying to their employers, specifically on days where they are not in the right frame of mind to work. Promoting honesty in the workplace and not lying about being ‘sick’.

Drawbacks of the duvet day 

Idleness could be encouraged, and also a lack of responsibility for overindulgence the night before might become the norm in the workplace. If the duvet day does not offer any additional perks to retain staff, then perhaps it isn’t right for your company.

Adding duvet days to your business 

To add duvet days to your business you need to think of how you will make it work and also the steps you need to take to implement it. Below is a checklist of things you need to think about:

  1. Implementing a Duvet Day Policy – new and existing employees
  2. Number of days (majority of employers offer two per year)
  3. Time of year days can be taken
  4. Days of the week that can be taken

Duvet days vs mental health days 

In 2017 an employee was praised by her employer for taking a ‘mental health’ day. (Read about this story here)

But what is the difference between a mental health day and a duvet day? 

A duvet day in essence is a day that is taken when you are not sick but would like a day to rest and recharge yourself. Mental health days are a sick day and employers are encouraged to treat time of work because of mental health the same as days taken off for physical health problems.

While it may be easier for an employee to take a duvet day or say they have food poising to avoid having a conversation about mental health, all employees should be encouraged to talk to their employer to allow for potential reasonable adjustments.

Sickness absence management 

Having an employee call in sick is frustrating but inevitable. Employees will have sickness at some time and be unable to attend the work place. Stress as a reason for sickness is difficult to manage and it is on the increase, sick notes being extended and long-term sickness situations can be frustrating to manage. Frustration can come from feeling there is nothing that you can do about this, but there is.

Brightening up Blue Monday

A bit of fun to start our working week! It is safe to say that we can all pretty much agree that Monday is not the most exciting day of a week, and it is always hard to get back into the swing of things at work after a nice relaxing weekend.

Today is labelled “Blue Monday” which is officially declared as the most depressing day of the year (unless you really didn’t grab that essential Black Friday purchase of course!)

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The Kind Office; Be Kind Magazine feature

Frequently, kindness is often considered a sign of weakness especially in the serious business world. As professional people we don’t want to show weakness, especially when competition for promotional opportunities or desire to climb the career ladder is so great and kindness is always seen as a “fluffy” subject and can appear to affect our chances of being successful. Everyone knows you can’t be a successful professional in business by being a doormat, fortunately though, practicing kindness at work has absolutely nothing to do with being a doormat and everything to do with showing great courage and strength.

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Take time to look up once in a while!

“Happiness is a state of mind. It’s just according to the way you look at things.”

Walt Disney

One common question I get asked all the time when I’m talking about my blog is “how do you find inspiration to write about all this stuff?”

Firstly, there is always a deep meaning behind every one of my published blog posts (there’s over 200 of them now!) and whilst it is not intended to be positive vibes everywhere, it is just how it has turned out, being a naturally positive person gives it direction which comes through naturally in my work. Secondly it helps to be passionate about the subject matter, you never know how you might inspire others through your experiences, this is something I never take for granted.

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Working Danishly, how to bring some hygge to your workspace

“Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.”

Benjamin Franklin

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved the Danish concept of Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”), I have included it as part of my life for around four years now and I think I have it all down to a T!

In his book, The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, defines hygge in varying ways: “Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down.”

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Can we truly achieve happiness at work?

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“Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” Ferris Bueller

A recent research report published by Gallup suggests that the worlds happiness levels are at their lowest level in over a decade. Well that’s a depressing concept to start this blog post off with but unfortunately that is a reality. Gallup surveyed 154,000 people across 146 different countries, proving that happiness is a worldwide issue.

Recently, I was fortunate to discuss this very topic at the Natural HR Conference at Monkey World in Dorset, and the session centred around trying to get people to realise where true happiness came from and if we keep looking for it (at work or otherwise!) then we simply won’t find it.

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Getting my bounce back…

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After recent events in my personal life, I have realised that my previous blog post appeared to be not very “me” and in all honesty, I thought I would throw in the towel and place the blog on hold for a while.

Thankfully,  I have decided against that, because I love writing and using my platform to inspire others to follow their career dreams and aspirations.   

Continue reading “Getting my bounce back…”