For lots of people, taking time off is the best part of their job. Not only can they afford to take 2 weeks off to go and see the sea or relax by a pool, they work hard for the pleasure of doing those things.
However, lots of people don’t take very much time off over the year. Perhaps this is because they are pressured to succeed in a stressful work environment, or maybe they are persuaded not to take the time because they will earn more if they don’t. Whatever the reason, if this sounds familiar, you need to rethink your strategy and learn to ask for time off.
You Need to Relax
Working all day every day will take its toll eventually. Not only will your ideas and creativity start to dry up, you will likely experience anxiety and stress too. And, once you are in a cycle of working too hard, getting stressed and working harder to make up for it, you will quickly make things worse. Stepping away from your desk, and taking a break every so often throughout the day will help you.
But stepping away from work for a longer period of time, is the very best thing you can do to relax your mind, refocus and regain your productivity when you return.
Taking a day off doesn’t need to be in order to do something else. You should use some of your vacation time to simply lie on the sofa under a duvet while you watch films and doze off. You might feel guilty about taking a duvet day when you aren’t sick, but actually, employees who allow themselves actual free time like this tend to be healthier and take fewer sick days.
Duvet days should be seen as a sort of cross between a vacation day and a sick day. You aren’t actually sick, but you do need time to rest, catch up on some sleep and just recharge your batteries. If your company offers personal days like this, you shouldn’t feel bad about taking them. Otherwise, tell a white lie and call in with a “really bad headache”. Just don’t do this too often and get found out!
You Will Prolong Your Illness if You Don’t Take a Sick Day
In many capitalist countries, taking a sick day is ridiculously hard. Not only is it frowned upon by employers who won’t even pay you to take a day off to recover, it is also instilled in us that we should be working all the time and that any time lost will make us look bad.
It’s time for a rethink.
You might not be able to do anything to persuade your employer to give you paid sick days, but you can suggest an industry scheduling app to make it easier to swap shifts with someone or ask someone to take your shift when you are ill. Many bosses are mainly concerned with being down on staff and losing productivity as a result. With this type of app, they don’t need to worry any more and you are free to recover in peace.
Another excellent reason for avoiding work while you are sick is that you are making your colleagues vulnerable to infection too. The common cold is incredibly contagious and if you plan to go in while you are streaming and coughing all over the place, your colleagues really don’t stand a chance. If you are feeling brave, you could point this out to your boss as an excellent reason for offering paid sick leave. And then show them this article which suggests that paid sick leave will actually save them money in the long term.
Work is Not the Meaning of Life
Though lots of bosses seem to think it is, work is not the reason you are here. Or rather, it is not the only reason. You are on the only habitable planet we know of and your boss seems to think that you should spend all your time sat at your desk typing? This is madness.
Sure, work is great for earning money, giving you something to do that interests you and is often a really social environment. But it would be such a shame if you didn’t get to see at least a bit of the world as a reward for your efforts.
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