What Is Duvet Day and How Can It Increase Team Productivity?

Improve employee attendance

Modern employees are exposed to a huge amount of stress. And if not addressed promptly and effectively, it eventually affects their mental and physical health. As an employer, you need to acknowledge this fact of reality and offer your team members enough opportunities to take a break from work and relax.

duvet day is one of the ways to go about this task. As a little extra addition to the standard leave types you already have in your company, it plays a vital role in promoting employee well-being and helps to boost business productivity to a large degree.

Read this article to find out everything there is to know about duvet days, why they are beneficial and how to embrace them in your team.

Duvet day

What Is a Duvet Day?

duvet day is an informal type of leave that an employee may take without pre-planning or any apparent reason to be absent from work. In other words, if the scheduled vacation is still far away, you’re not sick, but your mood is off, and you just can’t see yourself working through the day, a duvet day comes to the rescue.

Duvet days give your team members a chance to stay in bed or do whatever they’re pleased on particularly bad and lazy days. And that’s how they help your business cope with low productivity and reduce absences due to employee sickness.

Duvet Days: Pros and Cons

At first glance, letting your teammates take days off whenever they don’t feel like working may seem a bad idea. One might think that such permission promotes idleness and irresponsibility among employees. And how will your business meet its goals if your staff can go absent at any unpredictable moment?

However, there’s a more affirmative and people-centered perspective on duvet days. And from this point of view, they have plenty of benefits:

1.    Respect towards employee needs

Many of us had quite a few days in a lifetime when we didn’t want to go out of bed or do anything at all. And it’s ok. No one can stay perky and motivated all the time – it’s a matter of fact.

That’s said, expecting your team members to be always perfect and happy with their job is rather unrealistic (and a little bit arrogant). So why not give a sad or exhausted worker a day off, knowing they’re not at their best anyway?

Let your employees take impromptu breaks when they need them most. Such a gesture is the greatest expression of care for staff well-being, and it shows that you value your people just as much as your business results.

2.    Greater trust in your team

You can easily limit the number of duvet days to two or three per year. Hence, the abuse of this leave type by employees is out of the question.

Are you still afraid to let workers go absent without a valid enough reason? Thinking they might start to see it as an invitation to slack on a regular basis? In that case, you need to understand why you don’t trust your employees in the first place:

  • If they really show low commitment and use every excuse to avoid work, figure out whether you hire the right people and if your corporate culture is good enough to retain and motivate talented workers.
  • If the adopted HR practices are alright yet the fear of duvet days is still intense – bad news! You may be a micromanager.

3.    Absenteeism prevention

Just one occasional day off can make a massive difference to a person’s health and save them from a longer-term disease. Hence, by providing employees with a few duvet days per year, you can actually prevent unplanned absences due to sickness and reduce business costs inherent in them.

4.    Better productivity

According to data, more time off results in lower stress, greater happiness at home and higher professional success. It means that taking regular breaks is pivotal for restoring mental resources and building up energy for new achievements. It also means that forcing your teammates to be present at work no matter what is a counterproductive and harmful practice.

Instead, encourage employees to take vacations and permit them to recharge and have some short-term rest during duvet days – this will help you increase business productivity multifold.

5.    Higher employee satisfaction

Duvet day allowance can become a perfect addition to your employee benefits program and assist in creating a positive workplace culture that every staff member will be proud to be part of.

Duvet days are a sign of a people-oriented company that aims to establish trustful relationships with workers and doesn’t put its own interests above all else. So, in case you’re looking for ways to increase employee satisfaction, give this leave type a try.

Happy employee

Are Duvet Days Right for Your Company?

The above benefits indicate that duvet days are a great time off practice indeed. And we’re convinced that every business can make them work to its advantage.

However, there may be a few scenarios in which duvet days don’t seem to fit that well:

  • Strict deadlines – While running projects on rigid schedules, you must ensure all tasks are finished on time. Otherwise, you risk delaying work delivery and disappointing your customers. So, by approving duvet days when a deadline is creeping in, it’s easy to comprise the whole endeavor. In this case, it’s better to reward your hard-working team members with extra time off after a critical phase of the project is completed.
  • HR shortage– Even if your business doesn’t stick to any deadlines, you need to have enough people to keep it going from day to day. And if a key employee suddenly decides to stay in bed and not come to work, you need to make certain their responsibilities are covered by another professional, and the team can operate properly while someone is absent. Or else, offering duvet days to your workers might not be such a great idea.

In summary, the purpose of duvet days is to benefit both the employer and staff alike. Hence, it’s better to refrain from impromptu breaks whenever employee absence may seriously harm your business.

Nonetheless, you don’t have to reject duvet days entirely. Explore the available measures to address workforce shortage and do your best to implement this leave type the right way. Here’s how to do that:

How to Introduce Duvet Days into Your Team?

  • Make duvet days a part of your time off policy – Set the rules: indicate how many days off your employees can take per year, how frequently they may take them, and which leave request procedures they must follow. Specify all the instances when duvet days can and cannot be granted, and clarify whether they’re considered a part of the paid time off balance or not.
  • Communicate the rules to your team – Provide employees with all the necessary info about duvet days. Explain what they are and which purposes they serve. Make sure your staff members have free access to the created time off policy and can read more about the established leave request process at any moment.
  • Track time off – Keep a precise record of duvet days in your team, monitor when and how often employees take them. This info will help you adhere to the introduced duvet day limit and see whether something might be going wrong at the workplace, e.g., if your team members are exposed to excessive workloads or other stressors that make them want to use a break often.

Modern software offers a convenient and streamlined way to track employee time off. And in case you want to always keep your team’s days off under control, consider applying actiPLANS.

This simple absence management system lets you set bespoke time off accrual rules, track multiple leave types at once, automate the leave request process and collect highly accurate absence data without a hitch.

Click here to learn how to configure actiPLANS in line with your company’s duvet day policy, and don’t hesitate to sign up for a free online trial to check how it works.

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Duvet days are the ultimate expression of care for your staff. They can become a central element of your organizational wellness program and help you keep your team members healthy and happy. Thus, be sure to embrace duvet days in your own company. Use them to create a more enjoyable workplace culture, promote employee satisfaction and take business productivity to new heights!

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