What is a Duvet Day and How Does It Work?
Written by: Rinaily Bonifacio
Last updated: 28 November 2023
Table of contents
What is a duvet day?
A duvet day is a type of unplanned, discretionary leave offered by an employer to its employees. Unlike other kinds of absences, such as sick leave or vacation time, duvet days have no set purpose and do not require prior approval from the employer.
The concept of duvet days originated in the United Kingdom in 1997, and it’s now gaining popularity in other parts of the world. Some companies offer them as part of their employee benefits package, while others allow employees to take them at their discretion, within reason.
Duvet days give employees the flexibility they need when feeling exhausted or overwhelmed by work. They can use the time to rest, recharge and recuperate without worrying about taking a holiday or using up their sick days in the process.
How duvet days improve the workplace
Implementing the option for duvet days can be a game-changer for any work environment, brimming with positive impacts. Here are some of its invaluable advantages:
1) Reducing Burnout
One of the main benefits of duvet days is that they can help reduce employee burnout. According to a recent study by the American Psychological Association, more than two-thirds of employees report feeling burnt out at work. Allowing employees to take a day off when needed can help them recharge and return to work feeling refreshed and energized.
2) Increasing Job Satisfaction
Offering duvet days can also increase job satisfaction. Employees who feel their employer cares about their well-being are more likely to feel positive about their job and be motivated to work hard. This can lead to higher productivity and better employee retention rates.
3) Improving Mental Health
Taking a day off to focus on mental health can be incredibly beneficial. It can help employees reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and improve their well-being. Employers can show that they prioritize their employees’ mental health and well-being by offering duvet days.
4) Increases Employee Performance
Duvet days can also increase employee performance. Employees who have taken a duvet day are more likely to be productive and focused on their work when they return to the office. This can help the business achieve better results in the long run.
5) Attracts Top-Tier Talent
Offering duvet days to employees can also be an attractive perk for potential hires. It shows that the company is invested in their employees’ well-being and supports work-life balance. This can help businesses attract top-tier talent and create a positive workplace culture.
6) Decreases Absenteeism
Duvet days can also help decrease absenteeism at work. This is because duvet days allow employees to take time off without feeling guilty or worried about taking too much leave. This can lead to increased attendance and happier staff members overall.
Are duvet days right for your company?
While duvet days can have many benefits, they’re not necessarily suitable for every company. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to offer duvet days:
Duvet days are most effective in companies prioritizing employee well-being and having a positive company culture. Offering duvet days can be a natural extension if your company culture is already focused on work-life balance and employee well-being.
Duvet days can be disruptive if taken too frequently or at the wrong time. If your company has strict deadlines or relies on a small team of employees, duvet days might not be the best fit. However, duvet days can be a great option if your company has a more extensive staff and flexible deadlines.
Offering duvet days is a cost to the company, so it’s important to consider whether it fits your budget. If you can’t afford to provide additional paid time off, you might need to consider other options to improve employee well-being.
When shouldn’t you offer duvet days?
While duvet days can greatly benefit employees, there are some situations where they might not be appropriate. Here are a few examples:
If your company is in a busy season or has an important project deadline, it might not be the best time to offer duvet days. Employees need to be available to help with the workload, and taking time off could disrupt the team’s productivity.
If your company has a limited number of employees, offering duvet days might not be feasible. With a minor team, the absence of even one employee could significantly impact productivity and workload distribution. In this case, offering other benefits like flexible work schedules or mental health resources might be a better fit.
Abuse of the Benefit
If employees start abusing and taking advantage of the duvet day benefit, it can become a problem for the company. It’s essential to have clear guidelines and policies to ensure that duvet days are used appropriately.
How to build duvet days into your employee handbook
If you offer duvet days, it’s crucial to build them into your employee handbook and communicate them clearly to your employees. Here are some steps to follow:
- Define Duvet Days: Define what duvet days are and how they can be used. Include the number of days employees can take per year and any restrictions or guidelines around when they can be taken.
- Outline the Process: Explain the process for requesting a duvet day and any notice requirements. Ensure employees understand what to do to take advantage of the benefit.
- Communicate the Benefits: Ensure your employees understand the benefits of duvet days and how they can help improve their well-being and job satisfaction. This will help encourage them to use the benefit when they need it.
- Train Managers: Train your managers on handling duvet day requests and ensuring that the benefit is used appropriately. This will help prevent abuse of the benefit and ensure that it’s being used effectively.
How to track and record employee duvet days
It’s important to track and record employee duvet days to ensure they’re being used appropriately and keep accurate records for payroll purposes. Here are some steps to follow:
Create a Tracking System
Create a system for tracking duvet days, whether it’s through an HR software system or a simple spreadsheet. Ensure you record the date, employee name, and reason for the duvet day.
Ensure that a manager reviews and approves duvet day requests before they’re granted. This will help prevent abuse of the benefit and ensure that it’s being used appropriately.
Keep track of how many duvet days each employee has taken and ensure they’re not exceeding the allotted number. If you notice an employee taking excessive duvet days, it may be worth conversing with them to see if any underlying issues need to be addressed.
Communicate with Payroll
Ensure your payroll team is aware of duvet days and how they should be treated for payroll purposes. This will help ensure employees are paid correctly when taking a duvet day.
Duvet days can be a great way to provide employees with mental health and well-being support while promoting job satisfaction. However, it’s essential to consider the company’s needs and ensure that duvet days are used appropriately. By following these steps, your company can implement an effective duvet day policy that provides benefits without detracting from the workplace.
Rinaily is a renowned expert in the field of human resources with years of industry experience. With a passion for writing high-quality HR content, Rinaily brings a unique perspective to the challenges and opportunities of the modern workplace. As an experienced HR professional and content writer, She has contributed to leading publications in the field of HR.
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