How — and when — we work is fundamentally changing. Data from the 2018 American Time Use survey indicates that 30% of full-time employees report working weekends and holidays, and even when people officially have time off, that doesn’t mean they stop working. Moreover, the recent global shift to remote work due to the Covid-19 crisis could further exacerbate the situation: as the formal boundaries that separate work from non-work become even more blurred, employees may feel conflicted about what time is — and isn’t — meant for working.
Many people assume that flexibility in when we work should boost motivation. Being able to set our own schedules should empower us to coordinate our days to maximize productivity at work, which would suggest that people might actually be more motivated when they work on weekends and holidays. In addition, research shows that keeping yourself busy (as opposed to doing nothing) can make you feel productive, and thereby make your work feel more meaningful, suggesting that working at a time when others are not could actually boost motivation.
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