[Expert Hours] Join us on March 20th: Maximize Time Off While Ensuring Legal Compliance Register Now

Table Of Contents

What Exactly Is A Duvet Day?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Table Of Contents

We’ve all been there. You wake up for work one morning and drag yourself out of bed after 15 minutes of repeatedly snoozing your alarm until it stops screaming at you. No matter how hard you try, there’s just no motivation or energy to work. All you want to do is slip under the embrace of your warm duvet. Or wrap yourself in a blanket burrito and go back to sleep. No thoughts, no meetings, no deadlines — just vibes.

In most cases, if the thought of going to work gets too overwhelming, most of us tend to sacrifice a “sick” day to recoup and recharge in bed. After all, taking care of our mental health is just as important as our physical one, right? 

However, if you find yourself waking up every now and then thinking, “Oh no, not again,” a duvet day policy is gonna become your new best friend. Keep reading to see what we mean!

What is a duvet day?

A duvet day is when a business allows its employees to take a day off without any given notice. It’s just like a snow day, except instead of being stuck at home because of the weather, you’re there because your body needs rest. 

We know what you’re thinking: why not just call it a “sick day”? Well, duvets are cozy—and so are days spent under them.

Taking a duvet day is an expression British people use to describe time off when they’re not feeling well, but it doesn’t have anything to do with being sick. In the corporate world, it’s a one-day no strings attached holiday that’s separate from your yearly PTO or sick leave quota. A duvet day serves as time off from work that employees use when they would normally be expected to go into the office, but don’t feel up to it.

Some people also call these days “mental health” days because it allows someone who may have things going on emotionally that make them feel stressed or anxious to take time off from work. But in simpler terms, it basically serves as a chance to rest and take a break, without any guilt. Well… maybe just a little bit. But you get the point. 

What can I do on a duvet day?

A duvet day can be spent in bed, but it can also mean a day off spent doing just about anything you want. Sleeping in till midday. Eating your weight in Nutella. Visiting your family. Watching all seasons of your favorite Netflix show in one sitting. You can use it for anything, really. The options are endless!

More often than not, when someone takes a duvet day, they will actually spend their time relaxing or doing something fun. This allows your employees to have some much-needed rest and relaxation that can help them cope with the stress of life. Hence, everyone’s definition of a duvet day is different. And that’s the best part! It’s a great way to just relax on your own terms, without any pressure from work. 

When can I take one?

There’s no right or wrong time to take a duvet day. 

Tired from going out last night? Feeling major burnout even though you just went on vacation? Struggling to get some sleep? Want some time off for literally no reason whatsoever? The answer to all your dilemmas is taking a duvet day.

Humans aren’t machines, and therefore it’s totally natural to want a break from working every once in a while. That being said, duvet days can simply be taken when your employees feel like they need some extra time to care for themselves. Whether that’s to get things done around the house or just relax, having extra time to yourself is always appreciated. It’s not a vacation or bereavement day; it’s just an opportunity for self-care and personal reasons that don’t require much explanation.

Is a duvet day the same as a sick day?

Long story short: no.

Duvet days can be taken when you’re sick or just lazy, but they’re most often used as an excuse for having some good rest and relaxation. You don’t always have to be physically sick to feel awful. After all, everyone experiences days where they just don’t want to work. It’s not out of laziness, but out of temporary burnout from just living life. It shouldn’t be shameful or immoral to want to just chill. 

That being said, a duvet day is different than a sick day. Sick days are for when you are sick and need to recover from an illness. Duvet days, on the other hand, are for when you need additional time to take care of yourself. They’re not for when you’re ill and want to stay home from work; they’re for when your body needs additional rest in order to function at its best.

How do I take a duvet day?

The process of taking a duvet day is relatively simple, but that depends on how leave approval works at your company.

An employee usually just contacts their employer (or direct supervisor) to let them know they’re taking a duvet day. And that’s literally it. Since it’s not a vacation request, there’s no need to give any reason or wait for approval from HR — you’re off from work just because you want to be. Easy peasy.

The pros of a duvet day

It’s good for your employees

Have you ever noticed that when it’s all said and done, it’s the little things that make life worth living? 

Things like taking care of yourself, getting enough sleep, and maintaining your mental (and physical) health are just as important as having a good job or going on vacation. Self-care is something that’s often overlooked by employers and employees alike during those long days at work. 

We may think about how much time we spend working, but not about how much time we spend thinking about work. When this happens, productivity can suffer because our minds are preoccupied with stressors from the office or other areas of our lives instead of being focused at the moment on what needs to be done at work. That’s where a duvet day comes into play. 

And your company

With employee burnout on the rise, declining employee retention rates, and a competitive labor market, duvet says are one of the most popular employee perks among companies today. The concept of a duvet day was first used in the United Kingdom and Ireland. However, it’s no surprise that this concept is quickly gaining popularity across the world.

In the modern workplace, a duvet day helps keeps the doctor away. Duvet days have become more common as companies realize that employees are more productive when they are able to have additional days set aside for self-care. Taking a duvet day can provide your team with time not only for themselves but also for the mental and emotional space they require to return to work feeling refreshed and ready to perform at their best.

Furthermore, introducing duvet days can also be an attractive benefit to employees. They can serve as a valuable addition to your company’s benefits package. And in today’s particularly competitive industry, this might just be the kind of incentive that will draw the best talent to come work for you. Talk about a win-win situation!

The cons of a duvet day

On the flip side, as wonderful as duvet days are, they aren’t that practical.

A common misconception is that if you let people have duvet days often enough, it becomes a habit—and a bad one at that! It sets a precedent in your workplace that encourages laziness and irresponsibility, which can easily become the norm at work. For example, implementing a duvet day policy might not be feasible in smaller companies. If your employees wear many hats at work and can’t be reached in case of an emergency, then you might want to reconsider giving them an unplanned day off. Or if there’s an important deadline your team needs to meet at work, a duvet day can really hinder your progress in these situations.

There are, however, steps you can take to combat these problems. You can block certain ‘crunch’ times when work is busy to be ’no duvet day’ periods in order to work around these potential issues. But fair warning: it will require some planning on your end!

Wrapping it up…

Today’s workers can be divided into two categories. Yep, you guessed it — those who have experienced the joy of a duvet day and those that haven’t. 

It is a simple pleasure, after all. The opportunity to roll back carefully into bed, snuggle down under your duvet, and blissfully sleep in late. And then to emerge later that morning, feeling refreshed and brilliant. All you gotta do is roll yourself up in a duvet and explore life’s possibilities.

To conclude, duvet days are awesome—and should be enjoyed by all employees with open arms. If you’re looking for a way to take care of yourself, then consider using your duvet day as an opportunity to relax and recharge from work. It’ll change your life for the better, we promise!

Snigdha Gupta
Snigdha Gupta

An avid writer and aspiring marketer, Snigdha is a student at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business.

Relevance of Hourly PTO for Marketing Agencies

Relevance of Hourly PTO for Marketing Agencies

Read more
Manage Time Off in Lieu (TOIL) in Vacation Tracker

Manage Time Off in Lieu (TOIL) in Vacation Tracker

Read more
TOIL vs. Overtime Pay: What’s Best for Your Business?

TOIL vs. Overtime Pay: What’s Best for Your Business?

Read more

Do you want to simplify PTO tracking?

Schedule a free consultation with our team to learn how Vacation Tracker can help you.

Request a demo