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Summary:

I called one of my friends earlier this week and asked her if we could have lunch on Sunday. I was surprised that she said she couldn’t make it, since she had to work. “What kind of evil forces are making you do this?” I asked […]

Image by sxc.hu user Zela

Image by sxc.hu user Zela

I called one of my friends earlier this week and asked her if we could have lunch on Sunday. I was surprised that she said she couldn’t make it, since she had to work. “What kind of evil forces are making you do this?” I asked her. Then again, who was I kidding? I was planning to write a couple of blog posts on Sunday evening. Like my friend, I was going to work during the weekend.

As I reviewed my own work habits, as well as those of other web workers, it became evident that working during the weekends is becoming more common.

The weekend is dynamic

These days, the definition of “weekend” isn’t as firm as it used to be. Many corporate employees I know say that, as part of cost-cutting measures, their employers give them a four-day work week. This leaves them three days of the week for rest and recreation. These three days aren’t fixed either, as they find themselves taking Wednesdays, Sundays and Saturdays off during one fiscal quarter, and a different combination of days the following quarter.

If you’re self-employed, you even have the option of changing your work week in such a way that a weekday can be your “weekend”. For example, if there’s an event I have to go to in the middle of the week, I “pretend” that it’s a Saturday and move my schedule around to turn one of my weekend days into a working day. I also do this when I find myself sick for a couple of days. Just make sure that when you change your work days around it doesn’t conflict with anything that a client or supervisor expects from you.

Weekend warriors

In the economic downturn, it’s common for traditionally employed workers to take on a second job during the weekends. Because of the flexibility it offers, self-employment is one of the more popular options. This is also one of the reasons why the number of small businesses tend to rise during a recession.

There are other reasons why employees might opt to work during the weekend. If they want to secure their position in the company, they’ll be more willing to go the extra mile and work during the weekends if it means getting on the good side of their supervisors.

Even freelancers might find themselves working during the weekend. Apart from the economic factors, the low work-life separation makes it easier for leisure and work time to intersect or overlap. For example, I sometimes get the urge to work on non-billable tasks during the weekends. I find myself writing invoices, doing a bit of self-promotion, or trying to prepare my work for the following week. Fellow WWD blogger Dawn Foster even gets things done during the holidays.

Many freelancers might also use the weekend to pursue side projects. Often, these are non-profit or low-profit projects. We work on these things because they allow us to give back to the community, as well as explore ideas and tasks that we don’t get to do on a normal work day.

Whether it’s the economic crisis or a force of habit, there are a variety of reasons why some people work during the weekends. I just hope that no matter how productive we get during the week, we won’t forget to make enough time for rest.

Do you find yourself working during the weekend?

  1. Of course am i working on the weekends, for me it offers the best conditions to work, due to much unliked work during the week (e.g. many breaks because of customers calling and such things)!
    Actually i’m sitting at a Starbucks, laptop on the desk and working on the latest project!
    So, have fun!
    Dennis

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  2. You only need a weekend if work feels like something you need to get away from.

    Weekends do provide a good opportunity to get a different sort of work done – you’ve got at least two days with no meetings or deadlines, so you can focus on bigger things with no distractions.

    I actually just posted something on my blog this morning about never stopping working (while getting work done sitting on a beach in Thailand).

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  3. I’m with Dennis. Weekends are the most productive time because my clients generally aren’t working, so I’m not getting phone calls or e-mails. That said, downtime is important, so I’ll generally try to take a couple of days or half days mid-week.

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  4. I have a full time job in marketing during the week, and blog during weekends and evenings. I am a busy girl!

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  5. I’m with Tim on this one. I love what I do, and I tend to work on a blend of client work, side projects and other “hobbies” that seem to look like work both during the week and on the weekends.

    I still try to make time for some downtime to read or watch a movie, especially on the weekends. I also try to take one real vacation a year where I leave the laptop closed while lounging on a beach with a book for a few days.

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  6. [...] You Do Web Work During Weekends? Do You Do Web Work During Weekends?: [...]

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  7. Weekends, late night, all-nighters, holidays, birthdays – yeah, I work ‘em.

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  8. I do a lot of work on the weekends and in the evenings. However, it’s not for my “day-job”. I try to leave that at work.

    I’ve been working on trying to switch to a freelance career, so this is the only time provided to finish it.

    However, I do have to enjoy the projects or tasks in order to really give it my all. Otherwise, after spending a 8hr day at work, come home to a 2yr old and a 3yr old, then work all night… it has to be something interesting in order to keep my attention.

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  9. I work during the weekends because frequently I am left without train service, so I am left to do family obligations on a Friday or a Monday.

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  10. I work on most weekends, too. I like the idea of being able to ‘customize’ my week to suit my needs and natural rhythm. If I need to (or just feel like) taking up to a day off mid-week, so be it. As long as it doesn’t inconvenience a client or put me behind on a deadline. I like to plan my week, work on articles or blog posts, maybe catch up on some work-related reading, etc. (Ok, I also do things like bookkeeping, though the word ‘like’ doesn’t have anything to do with it.)

    If anything, I’ve had to discipline myself to spend more time offline and slip back into my role of ‘domestic goddess’ now and again. Can’t have too much strange stuff growing out of the fridge….

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  11. I work weekends on and off, depending on work load. I get a lot more done than weekdays on an hour/hour comparison because there are less interruptions- emails, calls, FedEx deliveries, etc.

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  12. When I’m really busy, I tend to get up early on both Saturday and Sunday, and get in around 5 or 6 hours each morning. So that’s about 10-12 hours I put in on the weekends… Plus, more later in the afternoon if I have time.

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  13. The difference between working for yourself or someone else is that employees get time off from work and self-employed people don’t. I work evenings, weekends and all of the time. I even take a lap-top and modem card on vacation. I have just always though this was the only way. If I am not working for clients I am learning new skills or writing for my blog.

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  14. “..working during the weekends is becoming more common.”

    Becoming???

    Yeah Right

    from 1981 through 1994 I worked 7 days per week.

    From 94 through ’06 I worked average of 3 weekends a month

    ’06 through now I have been lucky – one or two weekends per month

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  15. I definitely work weekends, but not all of my friends do. I think in this work world we’ve found ourselves in, there are two ends of the spectrum. One is the “Always-On” version, and the other is the “Cleaner” version. Always-On is that person who, even if not at home in front of a confuser, is on their smartphone in the middle of a picnic lunch on an anyday afternoon. The Cleaner on the other hand is the guy that swoops in at the 11th hour to save a project. Probably wasn’t on it from the beginning – and was hired to pick up where the people who were overworked and underpaid left off in order to drive it home. Both of these types work on the weekend though, and don’t blink an eye. I guess the question is really – do you take any time off in the course of a week in order to enjoy something that resembles a weekend like you noted with your creative scheduling. My answer to that is, personally – not so much. But when you’re working on something that you really enjoy “putting your back into,” you don’t really notice. I do have the added benefit of being able to work from home, which TOTALLY changes the way that I feel about working around the clock. There’s something much less demanding about the labor, if I have the freedom to do it from my couch or my home office or my bed or my local coffee shop. I also feel pretty strongly that there’s a huge difference between working around the clock because you’re nurturing something wonderful into existence rather than working around the clock to preserve your existence in these economic times. There are self-imposed expectations, or externally imposed demands – one clearly more satisfying than the other.

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