Do You Work Weekends or Unplug?

by Melanie Edwards on March 22, 2010 · 11 comments

in Wahm

I spent most of my time offline this weekend. I did check in on email and some social media accounts periodically, but didn’t really do too much. I think I tweeted once during the last two days and answered a total of two emails. And no actual “work” was completed – no blog post drafts, no client work – nothing.

This got me thinking, do the majority of people take the weekend “off” or do they work? I know for those who hold traditional 9-5 jobs, they take the weekend off – for the most part. But for those who are freelancers, bloggers, or work from home in some other capacity, it seems like we’re always working. Even if we’re just keeping up with networking and marketing ourselves through social media, we’re always “on” and rarely unplug.

I have yet to decide which I prefer – keeping up with work over the weekend or unplugging and keeping work for the weekdays. Each have their benefits, don’t you think?

Benefits of Working on the Weekend

  • Can keep up with time-sensitive events.
  • Get a head start on work for the next week.
  • Keep ideas going for projects you’re working on.

Benefits of Unplugging on the Weekend

  • Can fully dedicate yourself to your family.
  • Provides you with a mental rest so you can rejuvenate yourself.
  • Able to have fun and do those activities you can’t get to during the work week.

Your Turn

I’d like to hear what you think. What do you see as the benefits for one or the other? Which do you prefer to do on the weekends?

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly March 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I like this post as it hits close to home. Deeply.

I keep trying to convince myself (and Jeff) to step away from the computer and phone for the weekend. It's just hard because it seems my job doesn't have the “okay that task is done” and move on.

And you're right, being a blogger and checking in on the site and replying to comments and emails just keeps everything going. I think even networking needs a break from time to time.

PLUS being on the computer all weekend keeps from doing what I need to be doing… housework :( *maybe that's WHY I'm on the computer!* haha

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modernmami March 24, 2010 at 10:37 am

I think you just found the secret to our constant working…it keeps us from our other responsibilities! LOL

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BeenThere March 23, 2010 at 3:07 am

I work at home as an independent contractor on the computer. I just recently stopped working on the weekends. This has proved to be so much better for me and my family and my sanity! Working on the weekend might have let me get ahead on the next week's work, but it didn't really help because it was a never ending cycle — work all week, work on weekend to get ahead next week, just to work all week again, just to work on the weekend to get ahead next week — enough already. I had to pull back and am so glad I did. Now Saturdays and Sundays belong exclusively to me and my family.

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modernmami March 24, 2010 at 10:44 am

I'm so glad it's working out for you. I think I'm going to have to try to completely unplug one of these weekends and see how it goes for me.

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Susan Payton March 23, 2010 at 9:05 am

It's tough when your computer, your office, is down the hall from family life. I usually don't work on weekends unless I have something urgent I didn't finish during the week. But I often get this itch on Sunday night to check email. I'm addicted to what I do. I love it. So occasionally I sneak that email.

But when I completely unplug, I'm way better for it.

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modernmami March 24, 2010 at 10:45 am

Good to know that it works for you. I still have mixed feelings, but I also haven't gone completely work-free any weekend. Gonna have to try it…

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myarbrough March 25, 2010 at 9:09 am

There was a study recently that said owning a Blackberry (and I'm sure this is true for most smartphones) adds an average of 10 days of work per year, simply because it's that much easier to stay plugged in out of the office. A company here in Cambridge, MA, has changed their vacation policy because its employees are always working, whether in the office or out. The company is Hubspot and they've made it so that people just take off when they want; they've created a culture of trust with their employees and recognized the gray areas that new technology has created in and out of the workplace.

More and more we're starting to see this problem affecting more than just freelancers and non-traditional workers. I definitely support taking time to be unplugged, but it seems what day of the week it happens is becoming less stringent.

Great post! Thanks!

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modernmami March 26, 2010 at 8:06 pm

I suppose that's a good way to look at it. It might not be the traditional weekend, but taking a day or two to be unplugged during the week, is a good idea. Thanks for the info on the study and company in MA. I think many companies are reevaluating how they handle leave time.

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modernmami March 27, 2010 at 1:06 am

I suppose that’s a good way to look at it. It might not be the traditional weekend, but taking a day or two to be unplugged during the week, is a good idea. Thanks for the info on the study and company in MA. I think many companies are reevaluating how they handle leave time.

Reply

modernmami March 26, 2010 at 9:06 pm

I suppose that's a good way to look at it. It might not be the traditional weekend, but taking a day or two to be unplugged during the week, is a good idea. Thanks for the info on the study and company in MA. I think many companies are reevaluating how they handle leave time.

Reply

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