Stop Working on the Weekend?

Ah, the weekend. Away from the office, time for yourself, your family, watching sports on TV, puttering around the house, maybe running an errand or two.

Now there's a study that shows that about one of every three of us is working ON the weekends, in addition to working for the weekend. Assuming that less than a third of us are working retail and food service -- typically places with weekend workers -- that's a lot of folks putting in time to get stuff done outside the regular work week.

But why do so many of us work on the weekends?

No study that I could find yet points to causation, but there are a lot of theories, most of which come back to technology. It's now so easy to do work pretty much anywhere, especially from home, that we find ourselves not only tempted to squeeze in some work (even checking email counts) but also planning to do work on the weekends.

If you care at all about your career, there can be this overwhelming sense of always having to work, to do something to advance your job. When else are you going to have the choice to spend time on that except for the weekends? Plus, it's now very hard for many professionals to separate their work life from their personal life.

So we work on the weekends. So what? It's only a few hours here and there. I still get to relax, um, usually.

Well, it could be taking a toll on our personal relationships and our health, according to that most recent study. Is that really surprising, when you stop to think about it?

There is no way that most of the work you're doing on the weekend will actually advance your career in any measurable way. In fact, all it might do is get you more work to do, starting the downward spiral that leads to burnout and job change, not to mention relationship issues and health problems. For me, with my procrastinating tendencies, I use working on the weekend as a crutch to not be as productive during the week as I probably should be. That's something for me to work on, obviously.

My advice: Take the rest of the weekend off. Really. Go outside and play. Or do something else. Don't work.