Nextaff Talent Blog

Workplace Trends: Asking Your Boss For A Mental Health Day

Posted June 10, 2019

While job burnout and stress have been heavy-hitting topics in the news lately, there is a new trend on the rise, one which may be a solution to the aforementioned issues plaguing workplaces around the country, and it is this: asking your boss for a mental health day. 

If you were asked to write down the different reasons you've needed an unexpected absence from work, it's unlikely that "I'm kind of losing it, so if you want me to be productive, I will need at minimum one day away from the office" would make the list. In fact, your aunt's dog has probably died more times than you've been transparent with your boss about why you need a day off. 

But with job burnout being a hot headline all year, it's important to realize that many people aren't addressing it as much as they should be. Gulfnews reports, "To fix burnout, people need to address the stress itself. Instead, people tend to focus on the stressors." 

What's more, CNBC writes, "Wellness app Shine asked almost 2,000 of its 4 million members how they felt workplaces could help prevent employee burnout, finding that 97% of people who had taken a mental health day felt it improved their performance. However, only a quarter of respondents felt comfortable asking their boss to take mental health leave."

After a little self-assessment, you may actually be able to plan mental health days into your schedule. Request one day off per quarter (in advance!), so that your boss and colleagues aren't left scrambling to cover for you. This should ease both yours and their stress levels.

Chances are, if you take the lead in being an advocate for mental health in the workplace, you may notice others following your example.

And once something becomes the new normal, it isn't awkward, socially unacceptable, or burdensome. It's out there, opening the topic up for discussion and it can hopefully inspire some other workplace trends that ease burnout and high-stress expectations.

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