Working on the Weekend

In the US as in most parts of the “western” world, a work week is just 5 days. Monday through Friday. However in reality, it is not true. Depending on professions, lots of people work on weekends.

Architects in general are some of the worst offenders of the “5 day work week rule”. All these years of working here in the US, there has hardly been any single weekend when I have not had to come in to work on at least one day. Unless I am out of town or away on a vacation. But this post is not about that.

Working on weekends in some ways is more productive than working during the week. Our office on an anverage has about 4-5 people in on both days of the weekend. However the amount of work done during the weekend is far better in quality and quantity than during the week.

For one, there are no phone calls to answer, and very few emails to distract you. And then there are fewer colleagues and bosses to interrupt your flow of thought.

I wonder whether it is time for businesses to think of staggering employees such that weekends are not one standard block of days but varies from employee to employee. I personally think it would be more productive. More like employees in retail businesses where their weekends fall on different days than the rest of the world.

2 Comments

  1. Mahendra October 16, 2007

    An interesting approach indeed, in fact, I’ve wondered about it myself several times.

    The problem is that the whole society is geared around the employee holidays. We have weekend specials in restaurants and pubs and malls, relatives and friends meeting each other on weekends, and weekend specials in so many other ways, that I guess it becomes difficult.

    That’s probably the reason why businesses and society stick to this weekend holiday rules.

  2. IdeaSmith October 18, 2007

    I don’t think it would work. The weekend in essence, defines the week. All the benefits that you’ve outlined…no phone calls, fewer emails etc happen because other people are not working on the weekend. If you make the weekend a moveable concept, then the company works 7 days a week and there’s no ‘free space’ left. I don’t know how the US retail industry works but most companies that don’t have a reasonably clear definition of work-hours and days here end up being quite inefficient…high attrition, quick burnout, low quality work etc.

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