You work hard, so you should be able to take personal time off from work. Whether you have a doctor’s appointment or unexpected events pop into your life, it is in your best interest to take a personal day.
Personal days can give you the ability to catch up on things that you’ve missed, but they are also there to help with your mental and physical well-being. Employee burnout is a common occurrence in the workforce, but paid time off can actually encourage employees to practice self-care.
In this article, we will address
- What are personal days at work?
- What are the three main types of paid time off?
- The top reasons to take a personal day off.
- Tips for using personal days.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to negotiate for better benefits from your current employer, speak with a career counselor from Enhancv. They can help you explore the Paid time off (PTO) policy in your workplace and provide you with career advice to find a job with benefits that fits your needs.
What Are Personal Days at Work?
Most employers understand when their employees need to take a day off. There comes a time in anyone’s life when unplanned events pop up and you have to deal with them.
There also comes a time when you may simply want to take a day off work to recharge. Taking a vacation can offer you time for some rest and relaxation.
In fact, studies have shown that people who take personal time and vacation days actually are healthier and happier. They have lower stress levels, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, and a better outlook on their work.
Most employees are covered in an employee benefit program to have a certain number of paid time off days in a year. Both vacations and personal days are usually covered under a company’s policy.
Don’t ever feel guilty for taking paid time off. If you do not use them, you lose them. As for most employees, personal days don’t roll over into the new year.
What are the three types of paid time off?
Paid time off is different for each company that you work for. Some companies section off different paid time off, giving you a certain amount of vacation time and paid sick leave. Other companies group all of your paid time off into one category, allowing you to do with it as you please.
Below, you can examine in more detail the three main types of paid time off:
Even for those who claim to never get sick, a nasty sudden illness can knock them off their feet. Although there are no federal legal requirements in the US for paid sick leave, most companies have a policy where employees are given a certain amount of paid sick days.
The best thing about sick days is that it gives you time to beat common illnesses without stressing about losing money by staying home. You just get to focus on feeling better.
Personal days are available for you to use whenever you feel like it. If you’re in a busy season at work where you feel like you’re drowning in tasks, it might be a good idea to take a personal day.
If you’re still on the fence about taking a personal day, maybe consider that it benefits your boss and coworkers when you get time to rest and relax. Paid time off gives you the ability to prevent burnout, so you can keep working and producing at a high rate.
Personal time comes in handy for family emergencies. When you’re dealing with a family emergency, you’re not really able to focus on your job and the tasks at hand. Instead, personal days allow you to focus fully on your family members.
Everybody needs time away from work. The best thing about vacation days is that you can usually stack a good number of them together, allowing you to take over a week off.
Keep in mind though, when you start at a new company, there may be a period before you can use your vacation days. Some companies don’t allow their employees to have paid time off until they’ve worked at least a few months, usually between 3 to 6. Speak to the HR department at your company to learn more about how you gain vacation days on an accrual basis.
The Top Reasons to Take a Personal Day off
Everybody gets sick from time to time. By taking sick time off from work, you can rest and recuperate, so that you can get back to work as soon as possible.
If you have a serious health condition, it may be a good idea to speak with your employer to let them know when you’ll need to take a sick day. Your boss may want you to get a doctor’s note to provide evidence of your illness.
If you are getting a medical procedure done, speak with your boss and coworkers before your doctor’s appointment. They may need to cover some of the regular responsibilities that you have, so share with them all your daily duties.
A sudden unplanned event can also cause you to take time off from work. Whether it’s the birth of the child or bereavement time off to attend the funeral, you don’t have to feel uncomfortable about asking for paid time off.
Tips for Using Personal Days
Compose an email to your manager
If you need to take a personal day or you need a day off because of a family emergency, the first thing that you can do is reach out to your manager. Most managers will understand and empathize with you, but you need to take an active step to reach out to them.
You don’t need to go into too many details when you’re explaining a personal day, but you can offer them some information that either you’re taking time off for paid sick leave or you’re choosing to take a personal day.
Give your coworkers notice ahead of time
If you can, give your coworkers a heads-up when you’re taking a personal day. You handle a lot of different tasks during the day, so ask a fellow employee to cover your tasks, so that nothing gets forgotten.
You can do this by simply reaching out to them the night before. This will give your coworkers enough time to have a better idea of what tasks they’ll need to take off your plate.
Refrain from checking your work email during your personal day
One of the hardest things about taking a personal day is making sure that you disconnect from your work email. We live in a digital age, one in which we can be reached at any time during the day. But it’s up to you to guard your personal time and shut off from all of your work responsibilities.
Follow up with your manager in-person
When you come back to work, follow up with your manager. Let them know if you’ll need to take more time off in the future, and share with them your gratitude.
Save them for when you really need rest
The best advice for you when you’re considering taking a personal day is to save them for when you need them. Paid time off is valuable, so try to take them sparingly. After an especially busy season at work, that might be the perfect time for requesting leave.
Don’t feel guilty about taking time off because it can give you the opportunity to recharge so that you can tackle the busy season at work. PTO is also there to provide you with a little leeway when you’re dealing with a family emergency, like a death in the family.
When you’re choosing to take time off, speak with your manager as soon as possible and share with coworkers any responsibilities that they may need to handle. Also, do your best to save them for a time when you absolutely need to use them.
If you’re interested in negotiating your compensation package with your current employer, speak to a career counselor at Enhancv. They’ll help you boost your confidence, giving you everything you need to stand up for yourself and request a better benefits package.