AnnaMarie Houlis

Not everyone is working for the weekend — some of us are working on the weekends. A Gallup poll once suggested that the standard 40-hour week now lasts 47 hours and, unsurprisingly, a lot of that extra working time gets jammed into the weekends. The fact is: Over a quarter of Americans work night shifts and about 30 percent work during the weekends, according to Forbes.

And, for some, that's okay. While free time is necessary and a work-life balance is critical to one's health and productivity, some people prefer to work on the weekends or don't mind it when their week's work spills over. 

1. You can be flexible during the week.

"I regularly work weekends, partly because I love what I do and I'm usually very motivated to get the next thing done, but also partly because I take advantage of the flexibility I have during the week," says Camille Lansiquot. "I often take time out to attend to my children's activities or school excursions, and of course time for personal appointments. To me, it feels like quite a balanced approach to work most days, and adjust based on what else is happening. (The occasional day with no work at all is also nice sometimes though!)"
2. You can spread work out.
"My small business is now 6 1/2 years old and I continue to believe that it's ok to allow work to spill over into our weekends, says Julia Rohan, CEO and owner of Rover-Time. "I'm not sure I'm a believer in the work/life balance that so many professionals strive to achieve. My work has taught me to accomplish what I can, when I can, so I've taught myself to work productively during small chunks of time as a result. In the beginning, I needed hours blocked so I could fall into a hole to accomplish a task but I'm seeing less and less benefit in this workstyle. I guess it's a lifestyle demand for me. Aside from being a full-time business owner with a young son, I'm juggling an accelerator program focused on growing the company. I have a team of 16 that presently work for my company. But I’m a room parent and a PTO rep at my kids’ school. And I volunteer in the dog rescue community as well as some other #resist commitments. To fit it all in, plus invest in my own selfcare, I have to spread my work on to a Saturday and Sunday and I feel really, really lucky to be able to do so."
3. You can show respect.
"Working in public relations, I have to be 'on' at all hours," says Sarah Johnson, the public relations director for "I have journalists emailing me, sometimes calling me, at various times of the day, night, and yes, even during weekends.  Timing is everything in news, so if I miss a call or an email, that means the company that I'm trying to get publicity for misses out on a media opportunity.  Sometimes the opportunity is with a very high-profile media outlet — and, as a rule, I never want to keep a journalist waiting. Why is it ok for my work to spill over into weekends? Earlier in my professional career, I was a broadcast journalist, then a magazine editor, so I know first hand how crucial it was for PR professionals to get back to me in a timely fashion. I was forever grateful to those publicists.  Now that I've been working in PR for a long time, I try to be incredibly accomodating to those in the media - even if that means answering their emails on weekends, or arranging for my co-founder to be interviewed during the weekend.  In PR, it's all about the relationships you forge with journalists, and I want to be seen as someone who these people can depend on when they're on tight deadlines."
4. You can have more time with family during the week.
"My work almost always spills over on the weekend and it’s 100 percent okay with me and here’s why: I work at home and am able to see the kids off to school, have breakfast with my husband, and be home when the kids get home from school," says Nicole Johnson of The Baby Sleep Site. "I help with homework, make dinner, and get them to sport practices and games. My days are full, but it allows me to be very present in my family's life while also running a business from home. So, yes, I often have more work to do on the weekend to make sure I get everything done that needs to. I prefer to work some every day than try to fit it all in during a 'work week.' My business has been around for 10 years now, so I think it’s working pretty well."
5. It's part of the bargain of running one's own business.
"What's a weekend?" asks Alison Blackman, editor-in-chief of Advice Sisters Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle. "I am a writer and I work around the calendar. My husband who runs an economics consulting firm does the same thing. We know we're kind of trapped in a work-a-holic lifestyle, but when you run your own business, it's part of the bargain."

6. You can take other days off.

"Our world has evolved into a 24/7 society," says Mary Papaleo, owner, florist and event designer for Stems at the Palatine. "We can thank the internet for that. With all convenience, comes sacrifice. The sacrifice that we, as a societal group in general, made to be able to have anything and everything at our fingertips wherever and whenever we want, is the extinction of the five day work week. Like drive-in movies, is it a thing of the past. To work on a Saturday or Sunday is completely acceptable now. Many prefer to have their days off during the 'regular' work week to avoid congestion better rates at recreational locations.  It also makes it somewhat easier to schedule medical and personal appointments when you work on weekends and have weekdays off.  One of the ironic advantages of working weekends is that it allows parents to work in the classrooms of their children during the week — a luxury that regular work week parents miss out on."

7. You can spend your time how you want. 

"Because I work for myself, have a home office, live alone and answer only to me (and my clients), it's totally my choice how I spend my time," says Dr. Gayle Carson. "Like being able to go in there any time I want to do the things I like to do. It's my schedule and if I get a brilliant idea, I want to work on it. So for me it's perfect as long as I don't let it take over my life."

8. It can be calming.
"Throughout my career, I have had to work on weekends and holidays — and, at times, even on vacation," says Jesse Harrison, founder and CEO of California Employee Rights Legal Group. "For me, being the owner of a small business that is involved in law and client representation, there is almost no time that I can be cut off from everyone. I do not have the option to leave my work at my office — my clients have my phone number and I'm available around the clock to give legal help. If there are any developments in a case, I have an ethical duty to report such to my clients. It's more than just the nature of the work for me; this is rooted in my dedication to my clients and it's always been a part of my personality to go above and beyond what some might consider the standard duty expected of them. As such, I have learned to accept that working on the weekends happens sometimes, and it allows me to continue growing my business as I've done for some time. Further, when I have to go in to the office on a weekend, I find the atmosphere more calming and relaxing; I can get more done because there is virtually no hustle and bustle, no distractions, no phones ringing except my own. I've needed to go prepare cases for trial and gather all sorts of documents to be mailed out, and coming in to the office on weekends makes it a simple task on Monday. There is no rush and I can be confident that nothing is missing.
"On the other hand, I believe some workers should always establish boundaries on working weekends. Constantly being asked to come in for overtime can be draining, especially if the amount of work can be completed during the week. Many of my employees are in the office for nine hours a day, and I understand how important it is for them to go home, recharge, participate in their hobbies, and spend time with their friends and families."
9. It can be fun.
"My work spills over on the weekends due to the fact that part of my job is managing social media," says Alexandra Donlin, a marketing assistant. "Since social media doesn't turn off on the weekends, that means I'm posting on Saturdays and Sundays. This is totally fine with me because I love my job! It's also a very minimal part of my weekend, so I still have plenty of time to decompress and 'unplug.' I do also answer any urgent and important emails on weekends because I want to maintain a good relationship with my clients. If they need something done ASAP, I'll get it done."
10. It can be tamer.
"I work for myself as a freelance writer and blogger," says Tracer Kaler. "I often work on weekends because my inbox isn't flooded and I tend to take a break from social media so I can get writing projects finished. I don't love it, but I don't mind it so much either since I work for myself. I would not want to work weekends for anyone else!"


AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at by night.