5 Tips to Avoid Working Weekends

Stress at work concept - business woman stressed
© Photographer: Martinmark | Agency: Dreamstime.com

While some employees are working for the weekend, many executives are working on the weekend, a new survey by The Creative Group suggests. Sixty-two percent of advertising and marketing executives 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) executives are putting in 50-plus hour workweeks.

The national survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm.

Advertising and marketing executives were asked, “How many weekends each month, on average, do you bring work home with you?” Their responses:

Once a month 23%
Twice a month 18%
Three times a month 9%
Every weekend 12%
Never 37%
Don’t know 1%
100%

Executives also were asked, “How many hours, on average, do you work for your company each week? Their responses are listed below. The average response was 47 hours.

60 hours or more 18%
50-59 hours 23%
40-49 hours 48%
Less than 40 hours 6%
Don’t know 5%
100%

View an infographic of the research results.

“Working weekends is not exclusive to senior leaders, but it may be more common,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Creative executives manage teams that are spread out across the globe and working on numerous initiatives. They also must keep pace with a field that’s evolving rapidly. These responsibilities can require putting in longer hours.”

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.”

Here are 5  tips to avoid working weekends:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Seek help. If overtime is constant, consider bringing in freelancers to help ease the workload for you and your team.
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