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.
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?