As flexible working becomes more common, new trends are emerging in terms of absence management.
Employers are embracing change. Flexible working, working from home, working part time or job-sharing are all relatively recent developments in the modern workplace. As businesses battle to attract new team members, some firms have started offering duvet days and hangover days. A duvet day allows a team member to take a day off, with no notice, on a day when they just don’t feel like getting out of bed.
This can be helpful for team members who are stressed due to heavy workloads and need a break, in order to recharge.
A more recent trend is the hangover day. A hangover day allows staff members to work remotely or just take a day off if they are feeling tired the morning after a night out. Recent press coverage saw one firm introduce such a policy in order to offer something different to “younger millennials who typically go out midweek.”
These policies are certainly different. However, businesses that introduce them should ensure that they do so in a way that isn’t seen to encourage heavy drinking, as this would be at odds with an employer’s duty to safeguard the health and wellbeing of staff. Any such policy should also be set out in a way that doesn’t discriminate against certain groups of team members.
On the flip side, employers who introduce policies around duvet days, hangover days or flexible days off, could be seen as more forward-thinking businesses. Introducing any such policy should be done in a way that encourages team members to maximise their productivity while supporting their need to enjoy life outside of work.
In conclusion, any business that introduces these policies should consider how they will manage the number of random days off each team member can take. Flexibility is a good thing, but it is necessary to set reasonable boundaries in order to ensure that team members are productive.