Benefits Of Working Weekends: Why Your Mindset Needs To Shift

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Shift work can be taxing on both you and your family, as you have to schedule your life around your work rather than schedule your work around your life. While it’s become the norm for many of us, it doesn’t make it any less challenging. What many don’t consider though, is working the weekend shifts to free up more of your time during the week.

Is working the weekend shift beneficial when compared to working throughout the week?

Weekend shifts can provide more freedom to live your life when compared to working during the week. You can run errands without a crowd, book appointments easily and have more time for hobbies or a side hustle. There are increased overtime opportunities, more responsibility and often better pay.

Still not convinced working the weekends can be better than a normal work week. That’s ok. In this article, we are going to look at a few of the reasons why you may want to bid on that weekend shift during your company’s next shift bid.

1. Run Errands Without Crowds

Let’s face it; there’s not one of us who prefers being in a crowd full of people all trying to do the same thing. Whether that be lines at the grocery store on a Saturday or way too many shoppers at the mall. Even the roads have more traffic during the weekends than during the work week. Why? Because there are more people off compared to those working.

With fewer crowds to contend with, even doing mundane life tasks like buying groceries will be less stressful on you. Less stress is always a good thing, right? Plus, many stores have sales that are only active during the week. This means working the weekend opens up your time and can save you money.

So, if you’re a movie buff who likes to watch a new movie as part of your regular “errands”, you are likely to spend less going on a weekday than you would going on a weekend. Tuesday always seems to be a good bet!

Related: 13 Advantages of Shift Work for Employees

2. Keep Appointments Easier

To those who work during the week, you’ve likely experienced the dreaded talk with your boss about leaving early for a doctor’s appointment. Not only are you asking for a favor, but you often are also required to give a detailed synopsis of why you’re going to the doctor in the first place. Then there’s always the chance of them saying no, whether the visit is routine or urgent. When you work the weekends, this isn’t an issue.

Those who work the weekends often have the same days off during the week, meaning you know your schedule well in advance and are able to easily plan appointments around your schedule without your boss ever having to know you went.

It also gives you the flexibility of scheduling the appointment at a time during the day when they are likely to be less busy, as many who work the traditional work week will schedule their appointments in the afternoon, making many doctor’s offices busy at this time.

If you work the weekend, you could schedule your appointment for the morning on your off days and still have plenty of the day left to enjoy and relax.

Related: Can An Employee Refuse To Work Weekends? You’ll Be Surprised

3. More Time for Family Events

While this may not be the case for every event in your family, working the weekend frees up time during the week to actually attend many functions which involve your family.

While birthday parties and some sporting events are still scheduled on the weekend, the majority of other school-related functions are often placed during the week. This means you won’t have to miss as many concerts, plays, and other events which all form a great part of your child’s growth.

Further, if you work during the daytime on the weekend, you’re still likely to make it to those rare weekend gatherings while still having the whole week to yourself. Plus, who doesn’t love being able to take their kids to school in the mornings and pick them up in the afternoon. Not only is this better for your family’s dynamic, it’s much safer for your children.  

Trying to juggle shift work and family, check out this post – Shift Work and Family. A Practical Guide For Busy Parents

[VIDEO] – Night Shift Relationships: How To Not Ruin Them

4. More Responsibility & Pay

When you work the weekend shift, chances are you are going to be paid a shift differential or overtime pay, meaning your paycheck will be slightly bigger for the same number of hours worked.

Also, as few like to work on the weekends, your eagerness to do so could potentially land you in a leadership role, giving you an additional bump in pay as well as more responsibility.

In fact, there are very few better ways to show your employer your dedication to your job than volunteering to work the weekend shift. And, as my mother always told me, you have to make yourself indispensable by doing what others don’t want to do. I have found that is one of the sure ways to climb the corporate ladder of success.

5. Increased Overtime Opportunities

In addition to the extra pay given for actually working the weekend shifts, most employers will open up the week for overtime opportunities to those who work the weekend shift. This means there’s often always a chance of getting additional hours during the week for days you don’t have other events scheduled. This can be a way for those who live alone to get additional work, as well as those looking to build up their savings account for future adventures.

Related: How Do 24-Hour Shifts Work? When to Sleep, Eat and Recover

6. Less Supervision & More Laid-Back Atmosphere

On the flip side of the above coin, working the weekend shift often equates to less supervision as many of the bosses have the weekend off.

In fact, many who work the weekend find they are actually able to get more work done without their bosses managing their every move. This works in your favor as it makes you look good achieving more in a shorter space of time. But this is also the reason why some places will only allow tenured employees to work the weekends; employees who have proven they are capable of working with less supervision.

The atmosphere on the weekend changes as well, and not just because the bosses aren’t around.

Many employers relax their dress code on the weekend, especially in an office setting, meaning you can show up in your comfy jeans versus a shirt and slacks. And, depending on the type of work you do, you are likely able to listen to music and / or television when you normally wouldn’t be able to during the week.

Related: What is Night Shift Nursing Like? An Hourly Survival Guide

7. Less Interaction With Co-Workers

We all have that one co-worker, or more, who makes our job a nightmare. From incessant talking to never actually doing the job they were hired to do; they tend to make doing your job that much more difficult.

Imagine being able to get your work done without having to interact with that person, or people. When you work the weekend shifts, chances are you’ll be able to not work with that person, or any persons for that matter.

Imagine how your office would feel with nobody in it but you? That could be your workspace if you worked the weekend. Great for a person who loves their own company!

8. Longer Shifts

I know this doesn’t sound like a benefit from the outset but hear me out. What is the number one reason you go to work? To get paid. Even if you absolutely love your job, the chances you would work if you didn’t have to are slim.

Now, imagine if you could work the same number of hours, but in fewer days. This would mean more days off without a decrease in the pay. Win win, right?

Yes, this would be an adjustment to what you are accustomed to, but weekend shifts often coincide with a 4 / 3 work week, meaning you work four days and are off 3. This means 4 ten-hour shifts compared to 5 eight-hour shifts. Some weekend shifts could be even longer, again depending on the type of work you do and your employer, but this only means more time off during the week.

When you add the shift deferential / overtime we talked about earlier, those extra weekend hours could potentially put even more money in your pocket while giving you the freedom during the week.

Here are some different shift set-ups you may not have considered;

9. Shifts Go Quicker

Many professions are actually busier during the weekend than they are during the week, such as healthcare and retail. As many who work shiftwork will tell you, the busier you are, the faster your shift goes by. Sure, being busier often equates to more work.

So, while this might not be a benefit to those who don’t like the busy times, if you’re one to try and get time to move as fast as possible, the weekend is going to be the best shift for you.

For the nurses here, check out our survival kit below. I wish I had access to something like this when I started!

10. You’ve Got a Perpetual Excuse to Get Out of Unwanted Commitments

We’ve all done it. Someone asks us to go to a family gathering or other type of event and we rack our minds for an excuse to get out of it, often resorting to making one up opposed to actually going. The problem with making an excuse up? There’s always a risk of the person finding out.

For example, if you say your pet is sick so you can’t meet family for dinner, but decide to go to the movies instead, what do you do when your family shows up for the same movie?

When you work the weekends, you have an iron-clad alibi to get out of any events you don’t want to go to on the weekend. Afterall, who’s going to argue with someone who has to work the weekends? In fact, if you tell them you have to work chances are you’ll get a sympathetic response and a quick goodbye. And just like that, you’re out of all future weekend events as well because they know you work the weekends.

11. Less Commute

In a way this goes hand in hand with less crowds, but in another way it doesn’t. Your commute time is essentially time away from your family you aren’t getting paid for. When working during the week, your commute time is extended simply because there are more people on the roads, which equals more congestion. That means more time you spend driving rather than getting paid.

When working the weekends, your commute time is going to be significantly reduced. This frees up even more of your time, allowing you to get to work faster and then get home sooner than during the week.

Related: How to Stop Falling Asleep While Driving After Night Shift​

12. Go to School & Work Too

There’s not a one of us who doesn’t hope to further ourselves in the workplace. For you, that may involve learning a new skill or even going back to school in pursuit of a different career altogether. Whatever the desire, when working the normal weekday shifts, finding time to actually attend classes can be difficult, if not impossible. This often leads to working during the day and going to school at night, which leads to burnout and fatigue much faster than normal.

If you work the weekend shifts, on the other hand, your time during the week when classes are taking place opens up greatly. This is just as true for online schooling as it is for face-to-face. Being able to get your worktime in fewer days allows you much more time to focus on furthering your career through higher learning and additional skills.

13. More Time for Hobbies & Side Hustles

It’s a proven fact that hobbies help to reduce the stress in our lives. When working the weekend shift, your weekdays are usually open, allowing you more time to spend on your hobby or side gig. This could potentially work in your favour, depending on what your side gig is.

For example, if your side hustle is in the service niche, many customers prefer the work to be done during the week as to not impose on their own weekend plans. This means more work for you and more opportunities to transition your side hustle into full-time work.

In summary, the key decision-maker on finding out if weekend work is right for you is…… YOU!

You, better than anybody, know the commitments in your life and what is required of you outside of your work. As I’ve laid out, there are some major benefits to a weekend shift, but there can be some cons as well. SO, be sure to weigh each option fully be committing to something you may regret down the road.

Otherwise, enjoy less traffic and more time with the family!



Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure and privacy statement for more info.

Daniel Smith

Managing a global sales team I've experienced the challenges of working at all hours of the day and night. Being a shift worker I know how tough it can be balancing everyday life when you feel like you haven't slept in weeks! Providing advice and tips on how to manage your schedule, whilst still staying healthy is where I can help.

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