Working Tuesday through Saturday: Pros and Cons.

Working Tuesday through Saturday could leave you free as a bird at the beach!

In my last job, I worked Tuesday through Saturday. I really liked this schedule  – but there were certainly drawbacks. I did not appreciate hearing “TGIF” when I had another day left in my work week. Still, I got back at them by exclaiming. “I love Mondays!”, while everyone else drudged back to the working week. All in all, if I can choose a schedule for my next job, I will gladly work Tuesday through Saturday, however, I have different tastes than others. Maybe you’re considering a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. More and more Americans are opting to work on Saturday or Sunday and dropping a weekday from their schedule.  If you want to weigh the pros and cons, I’ve put together a list of my personal experiences.

You get a lot done on Mondays if you don’t have to work.

Do you ever find yourself running errands on your lunch break? Perhaps the bank isn’t open when you’re off work. Maybe the pharmacy isn’t open on weekends. Maybe you have to take PTO for a doctor’s appointment or a teacher-parent conference. Whatever the errand, when you work Tuesday through Saturday, this becomes less of a problem. Just make an appointment on a Monday, and all is well. Go to the bank and the pharmacy at your leisure on Monday, and enjoy your lunch break during the rest of the week. You don’t even have to use PTO to get that root canal!

Three Day Weekends are a bit tricky.

Almost all three-day weekends involve a Monday. So what happens when someone’s usual weekend involves a Monday? At my former work, I either got a different day off, or I got an extra eight-hour’s pay. I always felt it was a fair arrangement.  I usually opted for the three day weekend unless I really needed the money. Having said that, a three-day weekend meant no-one in my department for two days. If your job has work that has to be done despite the three day weekend, that probably means the person who works Saturday has to do more than their normal Saturday work load.

There’s also the fact that by the time I got off on Saturday, everyone else has been off for a full 24 hours. If there’s a weekend getaway, your friends and/or family will have left on Friday night or Saturday morning. They’ll also want to come home on Monday, and if your schedule allows you to take Tuesday off – this means that you get less time with your loved ones. Depending on your work arrangement, you might be able to finagle getting Saturday off during a three day weekend.

Everyone is off on Saturdays.

I just mentioned that when I got off work on Saturday, everyone has already been off work for a full 24 hours. This meant everyone thought I’m free on Saturday during the day. Friends would call me and say “Hey want to do this or that on Saturday afternoon” I’m like – you mean when I’m working? I actually left a church partly because every time they would schedule something social, it would be Saturday afternoon. So – there’s a con right there. If you’re highly involved in a church, or other groups that have weekend events, you might want to forgo working Tuesday through Saturday.

Your Saturday is everyone else’s Sunday:

If you’re a night owl like me, what do you like to do on Saturday mornings? Chances are, you just want to laze about – maybe not even get out of bed before 11 or 12. What about Sundays? If you go to church, Sunday is probably the day you go. This is another reason I stopped going to church – I was too tired. It was my Saturday, and I just didn’t have it in me to be social. I wanted to, maybe even needed to sleep in on Sundays.

Of course, by afternoon, I want to get out and do something – but everyone is busy running errands, grocery shopping, et al. Sunday evenings usually found most of my Monday through Friday working friends tucked in, getting ready for the working week. Staying up late just wasn’t an option for them.

Simple supply and demand means restaurants close early on Sundays. Any weekend events – brew fests, street fairs, ethnic festivals, and what not -they’ll certainly be done by 5. If there’s anything happening it will end by 5 PM. However – my girlfriend and I did find a theater or two that offers cheap movies on Sunday. Saturday night movies are expensive, so this is an amazing perk. The theaters are relatively empty too – I’ve never tried to go to a Sunday night movie, only to find it sold out.

Mondays are pretty much void of people.

Again – if something happens on a Sunday, it closes at 5 PM. But nothing happens on Mondays. When was the last time you went to a chili cook off in the park on a Monday afternoon?  Having said that – with no one around on Mondays, the world is your oyster! Eat at any restaurant you wish without a long wait. Go to a movie with no line, even if a concert happens on a Monday, it’ll be less full than on a Friday or a Saturday. People are at work during the day, and really tired Monday night. Talk about an introvert’s dream.

Your coworkers assume you can work on Mondays:

One day during an informal meeting that wasn’t getting anywhere, someone suggested that we reconvene. This same person suggested Monday. I sat back in my seat, set out a sigh, and hoped to God that everyone else could meet a different day. This kind of situation happened all the time. It was pretty common to get asked “Hey, can you do this task on Monday?” or “Can we meet Monday afternoon?”

About 95 percent of the time, I was able to pass whatever tasks onto the guy who worked in my department on Monday. Occasionally though, there were tasks or meetings that required my presence. Even if this involved a conference call from home,  that still cut into my day off. I remember a time when my boss called me while I was having lunch with my girlfriend, asking when I was going to get something done! That was not a good experience.

Granted – this isn’t the fault any of my former (or your possible future) coworkers (including my former boss). They can’t memorize your schedule, just as you can’t memorize their schedule. This is just one of the hazards of working Tuesday through Saturday.

You have less time to collaborate with your coworkers:

Sure, Tuesday through Friday, you are in the normal groove of the workforce, but what happens when another co-worker works from home one day a week? What about a co-worker who works Sunday through Monday? Maybe Wednesday through Sunday? How about when a coworkers calls in sick? I faced every one of these situations – and it was frustrating. My workplace tried to solve this by trying to get everyone in the building on Thursdays. This helped, but that often made a tiresome Thursday. At least once a month, I would have three meetings back to back. By the end of the third meeting, I felt like a zombie. My brain had totally lost all cognitive thought, and I was just ready to go to sleep. Oh, and when you have so many meetings on one day, noting else gets done.

You do get a lot done on Saturdays – and Fridays.

I could get a lot more done on a Saturday than any other day of the week. Why? Because I was not distracted by emails, slack messages, coworkers waking in, etcetera. There were no spontaneous and/or looming projects that had to be done immediately. This also helped my stress levels, because I knew what to expect when I walked into work on Saturdays. Oh – and if you’re the only one at the office, you can play your music as loud as you want!

There an added bonus to your co-workers starting their weekend earlier; no one wants to start a big project on Friday. No one wants to start a project and then go home for two days. They’ll be thinking of the project their entire weekend. So, since there were no big projects coming down the pipeline on Fridays, I also got a lot done that day.

Conclusion: Is working Tuesday through Saturday right for you?

Honestly, this schedule isn’t for everyone. There certainly seems to be more cons than pros listed. Having said that, the biggest advantage, or disadvantage, rests on your social life. Do you value a lot of interactions with your family and friends? If the answer is yes, you should probably stick with a Monday through Friday schedule. However, if you’re not as sociable, a Tuesday through Saturday schedule might be ideal for you.

The other con set has to do with your actual work environment. Will working Tuesday through Saturday affect your work performance? Can you handle getting phone calls from you boss on what is essentially your Sunday? If you don’t mind this, then certainly working Tuesday through Saturday can benefit you. If, however, it throws you and/or your coworkers into a state of disarray, you should probably stick to a Monday through Friday Schedule.