A new survey by The Creative Group suggests that weekends are no longer for relaxing, as more workers are bringing their work home.
Sixty-two percent of respondents interviewed said they bring work home at least one weekend per month, with 12 percent reporting they do it every weekend. When asked how many hours they work each week, the average response was 47 hours. More than four in 10 (41 percent) respondants are putting in 50-plus hour workweeks.
The national study was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on 400 telephone interviews — 200 with respondents randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 200 with respondents randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.
“Working weekends is not exclusive to senior leaders, but it may be more common,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group.
The Creative Group offers five tips to avoid working weekends:
- Prioritize. Take 10 minutes at the start of each day to assign a one-to-three “urgency rating” for each item on your to-do list. Tackle top-rated tasks as soon as possible and postpone or delegate items with less urgency.
- Empower employees. Performing certain tasks yourself may initially be quicker than explaining them to someone else. But time spent training staff now can reduce your workload later and improve the overall skill set of your team.
- Rethink meetings. Take a close look at any standing or upcoming meetings and ask yourself if there are enough agenda items to merit a gathering.
- Schedule personal time. Block time on your calendar to relax or pursue outside interests on weekends. Hobbies can feed your creativity, increase your happiness and provide extra motivation when you’re back in the office.
- Seek help. If overtime is constant, consider bringing in freelancers to help ease the workload for you and your team.
Domeyer cautioned that regularly working 10- or 12-hour days is a recipe for burnout. “Everyone needs time to disconnect from the job, unwind and recharge their creative battery. Delegating tasks and keeping a check on employees’ workloads can help managers and their teams achieve better work-life balance.”