The latest twist on paid time off is now called ‘unsick days’
(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)
I recently wrote about a trend with some firms that are providing paid days off for employees who suffer from pet bereavement. Well, here’s another idea that’s recently getting some press: “unsick days.”
A healthcare scheduling service called Zocdoc wants you to schedule a paid day off for each of your employees every year so that they can go and visit their doctor or dentist. And the idea seems to be catching on. It’s even got its own website.
According to this report in Adweek, Virgin Hotels, Foursquare and Oscar and Handy are doing it. So why not you? “The barrier to entry is very low,” Nathan Frank, chief creative officer at Zocdoc’s advertising agency, told the trade publication. “The easiest, quickest way for a company to implement this is to simply convert one of your sick days to an unsick day. We don’t see why every workplace in America wouldn’t adopt such a policy.”
Zocdoc is using a video, posters of invisible workers (they’re not at work because they’re seeing their doctors), lunch bags, screen savers, stress balls and post-it notes with the Unsick Day logo on it to promote the important public service they’re providing to America.
There’s data to back up this idea. In a recent survey sponsored by Zocdoc, 86 percent of employees said they would cancel or reschedule a booked preventive care appointment due to workplace pressures and 74 percent of millennial workers say their employer, company culture and managers have made them feel like they shouldn’t go to preventive care appointments during work hours. Zocdoc is also taking the high road here and adding another paid day off for its own employees as an “unsick day” in the hopes others will also do the same.