So I’m sure many of you are aware of World Mental Health Day, which is every year on the 10th of October. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world in hopes to improve the support of mental health. Which is why in this week’s blog we’re going to discuss what duvet days are and whether they are useful.
A new survey by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has found that stress is the top concern in the UK workplace. Stress can cause poor mental health. So how can we help improve the state of mind?
In this week’s blog, we will be exploring the concept of a duvet day and whether it can help improve mental health…
What Is a Duvet Day?
Have you ever woken up and the last thing you want to do, is to go into work? Okay, so a lot of us feel like this most days and go into work regardless of how we feel.
What about those days when you really need a day off rather than want a day off? Duvet days became a thing in the late 90s and in some cases, people have these days written into their contract of employment. They have become synonymous with suffering from poor mental health and provide a method for someone to call work and take a day off without prior notice.
What’s The Difference Between a Duvet Day & a Sick Day?
Duvet days give employee’s the chance to take a day off to recharge, without having to come up with an excuse.
We all know the term ‘pulling a sickie’ and it is usually reserved for someone who’s had a few too many down the local after work. Instead of feigning food poisoning or whatever the supposed illness might be, duvet days can be used without giving a reason such as a ‘sick day’ or prior notice like you normally would with an annual leave day.
Are They Useful?
From an employee’s point of view, a study found that 65% of workers advised they would take a job if duvet days were offered as part of their employment. Nearly 70% of duvets days were taken due to tiredness or stress and they are seen as a way of being able to take a day off without having to come up with an excuse.
Employers have seen benefits too. Flexible working environments generally lead to a happier workforce and they can foster a culture of honesty rather than employee’s thinking they need to lie to their boss with an excuse of being ‘sick’.
Duvet Days & Health & Safety…
Stress and poor mental health can have big repercussions from a health and safety perspective.
A lack of concentration, mistakes and other problems are all things which put workers, fellow colleagues and potentially the general public, at risk. Even for people who don’t work in jobs that have obvious health and safety risks, going into work with poor mental health isn’t beneficial for anyone.
Duvet days are not the answer to a constantly stressful workplace and solving the underlying issues to poor mental health within an organisation is a better approach. That being said, sometimes we all need a day to recuperate and duvet days provide a method to rejuvenate our personal well being.
We’ve blogged many times about the relationship between stress, poor mental well-being and health & safety – How Bad Is Workplace Stress In The UK? and How Effective Is Mental Health First Aid Training. Feel free to have a read of these blogs for a better understanding of stress and mental health within a workplace.