If your like most Americans, you get really excited for a 3 day weekend. Somehow that one extra day off feels like 3! The truth is there are actual physical and psychological benefits to a 3 day weekend. Let’s get into the details:
Having that extra day allows people to take a deep breath and slow the pace of a typical weekend. There is some extra time for errands and chores as well as some time to actually relax. A survey from Cornerstone Research shows that 87% of workers believe that three-day weekends are actually better for stress relief than longer vacations. It seems to be just enough time to switch up the pace and give you enough time to stop worrying about what may be waiting for you back in the office. Three day weekends are also less expensive if you’re planning a get away. Co-ordinating family and friends calendars can be nearly impossible but a three day weekend is more manageable and less stressful.
Resetting the Internal Clock
Studies show that the two-day weekend is actually bad for our internal clock. Studies suggest that two-day weekends disrupt the body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) that directs sleep cycles. If you do not get enough sleep this can effect your mood and mental capabilities during the week. The two-day weekend can make you feel groggy, tired and irritable for Monday morning. The three-day weekend gives you time to get more sleep, relax and adjust for the week ahead.
A case for the 4 Day Workweek
There is even a case for making 3 day weekends the norm relative to work productivity. Check out more here from cnn.com. Americans work more hours than any other developed country. The number of hours worked and expectations of productivity continue to rise. This trend is actually costing companies money in the form of turnover, burnout and health issues. You can read more about the relationship between between hours worked and productivity here in this post from 20somethingfinance.com. The reality is, working a four day week doesn’t just benefit the employees, it benefits the company as well. The list of US companies that have adopted a 4 day work week is getting longer. To see a full list check out this post from newsweek.com.
In summary, a three day weekend gives you a mental stress break as well as the ability to reset your system so that the week ahead can be even more productive. Since most companies aren’t moving to a four day work week yet, consider planning your own mini holiday.
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