Watching an American sitcom the other day, I heard one of the characters talk about taking a ‘personal day’ from work. I wondered if this was the same as a holiday or ‘sick day’ for us, so I checked it out online.
I found that, in America, most companies offer their employees 2 to 3 paid ‘personal days’ per annum.
‘Personal days’ can be used to provide employees time off from work, for reasons that may include activities such as parent-teacher meeting, voting, preparing for a family holiday, party, visiting healthcare professionals for preventive treatment and so forth. ‘Personal days’ are just that – personal, and are used at the employee’s discretion.
Now, to me, this sounds like a very good idea and perhaps we should be considering incorporating them into our businesses over here. The amount of times I have had staff that needed to attend a ‘parents evening’ so had to work through a week of lunchtimes to make up the time. Plus, we all know the stress of all the work that is needed to be done before taking a holiday! Having these extra days in place, separate from holiday days, would surely be advantageous not only for employees but for employers too.
I believe if we had these days available to employees we would see a huge reduction in absence for ‘illness’. I believe some people do take ‘sick days’ to cover for days when they need to get certain things done, but don't want to work through lunchtimes to do so. On the other hand, I know of people who have taken 2-3 days off to make the ‘sick day’ look as though they had truly been sick!
Surely we would be a happier employee knowing we had these ‘personal days’ up our sleeves for when we really need them.
So as a ‘pro work life balance’ person I cannot see a negative in incorporating ‘personal days’ into our work place over here. Anything that eases the pressure of life and work, in this day and age, has to be a good thing.. surely?
For more information on this I found this website very useful.