There are people who enjoy their jobs, and for them, the weekend is no big deal.
There ARE people who love their jobs. Do you want to know what they don’t love?
In a study entitled “How Was The Weekend?”, the National Bureau of Economic Research has determined that employees who love their jobs and enjoy their bosses and co-workers get as much pleasure from their workday as they do from the weekend. The NBER examined four years of data from Gallup in which workers were asked to measure themselves in seven different emotions, and note how those emotions fluctuate through the week.
Overall, employees report far less stress and slightly more enjoyment on the weekend, with an increase in “laughter’’ and “happiness” and a decrease in “sadness”, “worry” and “anger”. This was deemed by the NBER researchers to be the “Weekend Effect”. The largest improvement was in “enjoyment”, and the percentage of reduced stress was 32 percent over the weekend than at the workplace.
But a certain segment of the survey respondents, called “workers reporting favorable workplace environment”, don’t have the same level of Weekend Effect. If, in fact, an employee has significant time at work for social encounters and laughter, the level of the Weekend Effect drops to near zero.
The researchers determine that the positive nature of social encounters both at work and during the weekend best determine the power of the Weekend Effect, much more significantly than stress related to the job or worry.
A story by Bloomberg on the findings suggest the idea of the weekend being a time of relaxation and pleasure only apply when the workplace is unpleasant. “The whole idea of people liking weekends better than weekdays because work is hell isn’t necessarily the case,’’ said Canadian Institute for Advanced Research lead researcher John Helliwell, who worked on the NBER study. “Why should it be? If you’re doing something important and interesting that you like, that sounds more fun than watching a movie or reruns on TV.”
The measurements of stress were of particular interest in light of a study released last year in the Journal of Science and Medicine that showed that many of today’s modern workers are less stressed at work than they are at home. This was especially true of women.
“We found a big gender difference,” said Penn State sociologist and women’s studies professor Sarah Damaske, one of the report authors. “Women were much happier at work than at home. And men were only moderately happier at home than at work.”
The study was not a result of verbal responses to questions. Subject had saliva swipes taken five times a day to measure cortisol levels and wore beepers to report on their current moods when contacted by researchers. The study was aimed at determining that people who work have better mental and physical health than those that don’t.
“At work, people are po0tentially completing tasks,’’ Damaske said. “They are able to focus their attention and accomplish things, both those with low and high incomes. They are not multi-tasking.”
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.