A new study has revealed 34 per cent of New Zealanders have called in sick to have a "lazy day" off work.
In the survey of 4000 Kiwis by employment site Seek the "lazy or duvet days" were spent relaxing and recharging, getting some exercise, and binge-watching favourite TV shows.
Although the boss might not approve, Seek resident psychologist Sabina Read said the occasional lazy day was good for mental health.
"After a tough 16 months many Kiwis' have been reluctant to take time for themselves with annual leave balances piling up.
"It's not surprising that we're feeling tired, overwhelmed, or possibly drained and even resentful."
Read said it was no surprise, with more awareness and conversations around mental health, that New Zealanders admitted to taking a day to do nothing.
"Don't be fooled by the idea of lazy - what that really means is that more of us are recognising and prioritising our own needs, boundaries, and wellbeing.
"Because no matter who we are, or what we do, we can't pour from an empty cup"
The Seek survey also found the majority of New Zealanders think people should be entitled to have one day off a year to spend on themselves.
And a third of those surveyed said there should be "a public holiday devoted to doing nothing".
The results come just weeks after the minimum number of sick leave days that employees are entitled to doubled from five to 10.
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From July 24, 2021 employees who have worked for an employer for six months are entitled to 10 days paid leave if they, or a dependent, are sick or injured or have a dependent who is sick or injured.
Read said with the current candidate shortage some businesses were going above and beyond the minimum leave entitlements.
Some were instilling policies to encourage staff to take some time off outside of annual leave or sick leave for their own wellbeing.
Because of Covid, most New Zealanders (84 per cent) see mental health support as essential from employers - rather than a "perk".
Flexibility in terms of hours and location is also considered something that should be standard practice according to the survey results.
Key insights from Seek:
• 34 per cent of Kiwis have called in sick when they weren't unwell
• 54 per cent of Kiwis think people should be entitled to a day off each year to relax (outside of annual/sick leave)
• 38 per cent of Kiwis believe there should be a public holiday devoted to doing nothing
• Three out of four (75 per cent) find themselves working the entire time they're at work