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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How can flexible working help your business?

“Women are working more, men are understanding their value as caregivers, women are primary breadwinners—I mean, we could go on and on and on. Things are different. So we can’t keep operating like everything is the same, and that’s what many of us have done. And I think it’s up to us to change the conversation.”

Michelle Obama

As an HR Consultant, if I had £1 for every time a client said to me that “flexible working is only for parents” I would be a very wealthy lady!

The most common question my clients ask is “how can flexible working help my business?” so if you are thinking just that, then read on!

Whilst flexible working is traditionally associated with working parents, we must acknowledge that the world of work is changing and with that, we are seeing a shift in the demographic in society (a third of workers will be over 50 by the end of 2020) therefore the myth around flexible working being just for parents, is simply that, just a myth! Now everyone has the right to request their employer to work more flexibly, which means that change for businesses is inevitable.

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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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Goodbye 2019, hello 2020!

New Year, a new chapter, a new verse or the same old story? Ultimately, we write it, the choice is ours.

Alex Morritt

Happy New Year everyone!

Apologies for the silence over the past few months, I have taken some much needed time to reflect on my priorities and took some time out for my mental health, I am feeling much better and I’d like to thank those who offered their support.

So without further ado, with a new year comes plenty of new opportunities and with it being a sparkly new decade, I fully intend to make the most of it!

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HR acts of kindness calendar November 2019

Following the success of my article in Be Kind magazine, I have decided to evolve HR acts of kindness by releasing a calendar each month on the blog.

It has been a lot of work (and thinking!) in the making but I am delighted to bring this to you all, thank you for being so patient with me. A lot of people have asked me why I’m launching it now and not in January, well as the seasons change, we are often negative towards those darker mornings, what seem like long days and miserable weather; we find ourselves not being particularly kind to ourselves, so this is what made me think that this is the perfect time to launch it.

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Keep out of the boardroom! Why are HR still on the outside looking in?

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.”

Socrates

It seems that for too long HR leaders have been denied a seat in the majority of boardrooms. In light of the current time of uncertainty (Brexit anyone?) don’t we think it is time to bring the human back as a business priority and allow people skills to take centre stage again?

For those of us in HR, we already know that no matter what a company produces, the service it provides or even the brands the organisation represents, at the heart of it is its people.

Continue reading “Keep out of the boardroom! Why are HR still on the outside looking in?”