The Weekend Effect

Many employees mention that their well-being increases on Friday evening and decreases dramatically on Sunday night and eventually reaches a lower point on Monday morning. The important question here is that why does the thought of working, affects our well-being so negatively?

According to some researchers, weekend effect is caused due to the lack of autonomy at work, in comparison with the autonomy an individual experiences on weekends by engaging in activities they are interested in. Further, weekends also give us an opportunity to connect with people who are important in our lives.

Researchers have identified that, in order to have a high well being, we need to experience three things. First of all, we should feel competent in the activities we are engaged in. Secondly, it is important to have some autonomy to decide what we do, when we do it, how we do it, etc. Lastly, it is important to have meaningful and positive relationships.

Employees who feel competent, autonomous, and related, are bound to experience more positive emotions and therefore they are more committed towards their organization. Such employees experience more meaning and interest, their performance is better, and are less absent from the job and less likely to leave their job.

The research on the weekend effect shows that, even though we are able to experience competence at work, most often, but still we might be at risk of experiencing low autonomy and relatedness. The weekend effect could be found amongst all kinds of workers, from laborers to lawyers and physicians. It does not matter how much they earn, how many hours they are working, whether or not they are married, or even their education or age, a weekend effect can be found amongst anyone.

Therefore, if your mood is negative, and you tend to suffer aches and pain and feel less energetic at work as compared to outside of work, you can ask yourself these three questions:

  • Do I feel competent in the work which I do? 
  • Do I have the autonomy to decide how I do my work, what work I do, or when I do it,? 
  • Do I have meaningful and positive relationships at work? 

If the answer to any one or more questions is “no”, you have probably found the key to solving your well-being problem at work. If there is a negative response regarding a particular question(s), you can start working on that particular area(s), so as to make it positive over the period of time.

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