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Let’s not get ‘duvet days’ mixed up with working from home.

This mornings BBC Breakfast News segment on duvet days, of course, divided the nation, with ‘Karens’ fighting their corner in the comments section in both camps:

Camp 1 – Pro duvet days “because sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed after a drinking session the night before, so I’d rather work from home

vs.

Camp 2 – Against duvet daysWork from home on a hangover? Sureeeee”

Both positions on duvet days have their merits, and quite rightly, managers being sceptical about members of staff working from home and being productive while nursing a hangover does sounds quite a stretch. Whereas, there’s a lot of sense to being pro duvet days too, but it should be just that; a duvet day – not a thinly veiled ‘work from home’ situation.

Companies such as PowWowNow have been torch bearers of working from home for easily over a decade now, gently informing through data and positive insights that working from home, for many, can be a more productive environment than working from an office. Thus, we have a real bugbear with wording and definitions of words when it comes to not being in the office environment as negative connotations and scepticism towards working from home can and will increase.

Companies can be torch bearers for both.

For us, there is no battle between for or against duvet days, it’s more about having a more clear understanding of what it is, and for us, a ‘duvet’ or ‘mental health’ day should be just that – a moment to take a break away from the office to switch off, either because you’re feeling the pressure a bit too much, or, due to the night before; in either scenario, being forced to come in to work will ultimately decrease productivity, not improve it.

HOWEVER, should employees be given additional paid for days off for duvet days? No, we don’t think so – what’s wrong with utilising your holiday entitlement? And of course, this needs to open up a greater discussion between employers and employees – why are staff members needing random, last minute days off? If it’s happening more often than not, especially due to late nights drinking, there’s obviously an underlying problem there that needs resolving. As to with if it’s stress/mental health related – while a day off is great, how do you improve this member of staffs work life going forward?

The UK is near the bottom of the European Union productivity league!

From the above, we can see that as a country, we can do way better, but if you want to see different results, you need to do something different to get there. Thus, sure, maybe we do need duvet days, and as mentioned above, also look further in to reasoning behind said days off.

Sceptical about allowing members of staff to work remotely? PowWowNow have dozens of articles on the matter (click here). – take a good look around, think about piloting, but make sure you don’t set members of staff up to fail.

Further reading on this subject on our website: