HR Strange But True!
January 20, 2010

For some people, no assumption is ever safe to make, so they wait for the proof from the science community. These people can finally rest assured that researchers have answered the mysterious question of whether workers are happier during the workweek or during weekends.

Let's not prolong the suspence .... the researchers concluded that workers are happiest during the weekends, no matter how much they are paid.

The study included 74 workers and tracked their positive and negative feelings and any physical symptoms of stress during random times of the day and week. The study found that the workers consistently reported more positive feelings of physical and mental well-being during the weekends.

"Workers, even those with interesting, high status jobs, really are happier on the weekend," says author Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester .

The research was conducted by Ryan, Jessey Bernstein of McGill University ; and Kirk Warren Brown of Virginia Commonwealth University .

The researchers found that workers' have stronger feelings of autonomy, relatedness, and competence during the weekends.

"Our findings highlight just how important free time is to an individual's well-being,” Ryan said. “Far from frivolous, the relatively unfettered time on weekends provides critical opportunities for bonding with others, exploring interests and relaxing -- basic psychological needs that people should be careful not to crowd out with overwork.”

The results may even suggest a way to improve worker happiness during the workweek.

“To the extent that daily life, including work, affords a sense of autonomy, relatedness, and competence, well-being may be higher and more stable, rather than regularly rising and falling," the researchers conclude.

The study appears in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

Source: University of Rochester

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