The rules of our ‘hangover days’

13 Dec 2019

The Audit Lab

Claire Crompton

Claire Crompton

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Here at TAL Agency, we like to consider ourselves as a forward-thinking SEO agency.

We’re not strict on dress code, we don’t work the standard 9 – 5, and we’re as flexible as can be when it comes to helping your work life fit around your home life. It’s all about achieving the coveted perfect work-life balance, something we’re huge advocates of.

As part of our ever-evolving offering to all our staff, regardless of their age and parental status, we have adopted a new ‘hangover days’ policy.

What is a hangover day?


A hangover day is essentially a work from home day that is booked in last minute. Due to the nature of our industry, which can involve schmoozing with clients and networking, there are a lot of conferences, events and work dos. Our approach acknowledges that our staff may like to enjoy a drink or two at these events. A hangover day then allows them – if they’re feeling a little worse for wear the morning after – to ring up their line manager and ask if they can still complete their work, but from the comfort of their own sofa.

Or bed, we don’t judge.

The rules


1. Be honest. This is our golden rule for hangover days, it’s what sparked the whole idea in the first place. If you’ve had one too many and still want to work, let us know. There’s no judgment (hey, we’ve all been there) and we trust you to manage your own workload, just from a different location. Trust flows both ways

2. Give as much notice as possible. If you know you’ve got a late networking event, a client launch that goes on into the early hours, or if there’s a staff party, let us know in advance if you don’t think you’ll make it in tomorrow. If in the morning you do manage to, then great. But if you’d rather work on the sofa, that’s also fine. We appreciate that notice may not always be possible, so last-minute requests are considered, too, but we all love being told about things ahead of time

3. Be prepared. Whether you think or you know that you’re going to need a hangover day, be prepared for your future self by taking home your laptop the night before and any notes that you may need to complete your work the next day

4. Make smart choices. We always ask people to look at the week ahead if they’re considering having a drink or if they know there’s a work event coming up. What’s going on the next day? Is there a big presentation or a client meeting? These kinds of things are non-negotiable, and we ask that our staff think ahead and make the right decision for the business

So why do we do it?


Trust. As an agency that places a lot of emphasis on the importance of openness and transparency between ourselves and our clients, it doesn’t make sense that we wouldn’t take a similar approach when it comes to ourselves and our staff. People will call in pretending to be ill when they are in fact hungover – it would be naive of us to suggest otherwise – but what we want to do is cut out those lies. Fibbing doesn’t make anyone feel better, and nobody benefits, which is why we ask for the truth

Perks. Work perks are now considered to be just as important, if not more important in some cases, than the salary that is offered when applying for a job. As we’re based outside the digital hub of Manchester city centre, we need something that’s going to attract top candidates to Bolton to work for us. Flexible working? Check. Great core hours? Check? Last-minute work from home days a.k.a hangover days? Amazing. And totally unique

Adults. All the people we hire are fully-fledged grown-ups. It’s not up to us to tell them how to behave, and we believe adults should be treated as such. We believe adults can look after themselves and we place that trust right in their hands

Enjoyment. Let’s be honest, we all love a pub quiz on a Thursday evening every now and again, especially millennials. Why should they miss out on these good times with their friends? As we mentioned before, work-life balance is key to us, and if this perk helps tip that scale then we’re all for it

Does it work?


Of course! We wouldn’t continue to offer it as a perk if it was having a detrimental effect on the business. And the reason it works so well is that it all comes down to trust. Nobody likes to be micromanaged, which is something we truly hate. Our approach involves letting people manage their own workload and their own life.

If anyone started to take advantage of this perk then we’d have to reconsider. But so far our staff have been able to manage the balance between their own work and personal lives spectacularly well.

Offering these ‘sexed up work from home days’ allows us to appeal to our employees who don’t have children, considering we also offer numerous benefits to our wonderful working parents, too. This includes being able to take half days or working from home if your child has a nativity or a play in school, or leaving for parents’ evening. But what we are not saying here is that leaving early to collect a sick child from nursery or looking after them while they’re ill is a perk, because it absolutely isn’t.

And finally, we like all digital marketing agencies have targets to hit, month in and month out. Thanks to the wonderful technology of laptops and the internet, we can now work from pretty much anywhere.

So as long as those targets are met, who cares whether the work was done from a desk chair or a sofa?

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