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There’s lots to hate about the winter. The way it scales your knuckles and breaks your back. The way it kills your gym dedication and deprives you of on-street parking. The way it makes everythingharder. 

But there is an upside to this cruel season and it can be summed up in two words: snow day

From time to time, Mother Nature makes herself known in such quantities and with such ferocity that there’s simply no point in trying to stare her down. These are the occasions when the authorities step in and declare that people stay inside and watch crime documentaries in their fleece onesies, though they couch their instructions in more diplomatic terms.

The trouble is, the workplaces who adopt these warnings and send out blanket emails suggesting employees work from home actually expect their staffers to work. 

The audacity.

Anyway, fear not. The indignity of a day spent in stocking feet and untended hair that is expected to also accommodate industry can be salvaged. Here’s how.

  1. Get yourself one of those drinking birds and arrange him over your laptop so his perpetually pecking beak is always tapping at the keyboard while your texting app is open. Your boss’ll be convinced you’re working on a meaty text while you’re in the kitchen layering Flamin’ Hot Cheetos into your omelette.
  2. Keep your chatbox open all day, tucking it into the background while you play Words With Friends and catch up on the latest in wipe-out-on-the-ice videos on the social. Set an alarm to remind you to contribute something every twelve minutes.
  3. Respond to superiors’ emails promptly, to create the illusion that you’re hovering over your computer, vigilant as anything and just hyper-tuned in to work-related matters, the Grace and Frankie marathon you’re hosting alongside them notwithstanding.
  4. Send precisely three emails to important work contacts over the course of the day that are your own initiatives, rather than responses to someone else’s. This creates the illusion that you care. Try not to get pork rind dust in your space bar.
  5. Arrange an afternoon phone call with a superior but only after first arranging for a friend to phone a few minutes into the call, so you can importantly announce “Oh, I’ve been waiting for this call from [impressive win contact],” and your boss will let you go to tend to this VIP in a flush of admiration.

Winter weather sucks for a multitude of reasons. But snow days—and their sanctioned invitation for extended time with your duvet, a store of seasonal snacks and your terrier—are not among them.