Study: Fewer Working Weekends

July 1, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS — Less people are compelled to turn their weekends into workends, according to the second installment of Steelcase’s three-part Workplace Index Survey on the Nature of Work in 2005.

Conducted by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC), the study examined the length of a typical workweek and the reasons workers feel compelled to work on the weekend.

Through a survey of nearly 700 office workers in the United States, Steelcase revealed that many Americans are working on the weekend due to an increased workload. However, the percentage of Americans working weekends fell dramatically in comparison to a similar study conducted more than seven years ago.

According to this year’s survey, only 56 percent of respondents work on the weekends, down from 73 percent in 1997.

In addition, Steelcase asked Americans whether the 40-hour work week still remains the standard, and found that 49 percent of those surveyed work more than 40 hours per week — a slight decrease from 1997 when 53 percent of respondents worked more than 40 hours a week.

The study also compared work habits between women and men and found that a significantly higher percentage of men, 62 percent, work more than 40 hours a week, compared to 39 percent of women. However, the same percentage (74 percent) of men and women work on the weekends.

When asked about the factors leading to weekend work, almost half (48 percent) of workers said they work on the weekends primarily because of an “increased workload,” whereas in 1997, most office employees said they work on weekends because “it’s enjoyable,” or, “it’s an unwritten rule,” (37 percent and 38 percent, respectively).

Further, more men than women said an “increased workload” is to blame, while more women than men felt as though it is an “unwritten rule.”

Steelcase has conducted Workplace Index Surveys for the past 10 years to keep a pulse on employee habits in the workplace, said Chris Congdon, manager of corporate marketing for Steelcase.

“This information, combined with data mined from other research efforts, helps us to understand the way people are working in offices today,” stated Congdon. “That understanding guides our product development process and our ability to create effective workplace solutions.”    

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