Do you know that employees who work office hours (e.g., Monday to Friday) look at each of the days differently?
Monday as the first working day is commonly known to be the most productive day of the week. Although many people agree with the term ‘I hate Mondays’, they frequently admit that Mondays are their most productive day, fully energised and focused after having 48 hours rest over the weekend, ready to comprehend the tasks ahead.
Contrarily for Fridays, perceived to be the least productive, power-drained day. Although most people are thankful to the coming of Friday, the term T.G.I.F (Thank God It’s Friday) doesn’t significantly drive them to be highly productive and motivated.
Employers do expect employees to be productive every day of the working week. However, if with a heavy workload paired with strict working hours and lack of break times significantly create a super hectic schedule for the employee. Thus, failing to sustain their productivity.
Mental energy, indeed, depletes through activities. When employees fail to be disciplined enough to maintain their energy level throughout the week, they tend to start slacking, resulting in unaccomplished tasks which will be brought forward to the following week. Such ineffective working rhythm will end up in an exhaustive workforce with bad time management that potentially dampen the overall company’s progress.
HR managers and employers can help enhance ‘Fridays’ for employees to achieve consistent productivity through the following ways:
Combat the mindset “It can wait until next week”. The weekend temptation on Friday frequently leads employees to procrastinate on tasks at hand.
Tasks that are not urgent, perhaps it could be done the following week but are they able to complete the backlogs? Or is it going to be always pushing non-urgent tasks to the next and the next? Such procrastination of tasks will only exhaust the individual eventually.
Managers can suggest employees to make to-do lists and break them into smaller groups of tasks. With a clear framework of duties, they will be able to manage themselves to set the timeline and execute the tasks accordingly. Of course, self-discipline is required.
Schedule breaks. Most employees often feel that Fridays are the longest day compared to the rest. As the last day working of the week, they are easily distracted and perhaps unable to focus for long periods. To counter that, managers can suggest to them about having interval breaks during the day to keep their mind fresh.
When employees are forced to focus for an extended period of time, they can feel stressed out. Instead, managers can initiate an interval break times as follow:
– 90 minutes work effort followed by a 20 minutes break (for administrative tasks)
– 60 minutes work effort followed by a 15 minutes break (for tasks such as clearing emails)
– 20 minutes work effort followed by a 5 minutes break (take a breather and look at some greenery!).
Make Friday as a ‘light day’. Sustaining the productivity during the workweek might be quite tricky. Having heavy workloads and deadlines to meet on a Friday will not be effective as employees tend to focus on their upcoming weekend rather than the dreaded deadlines.
Therefore, it is a good idea for employees to maximise their working days from Monday to Thursday. Accomplishing the important tasks at the front will enable them to feel more relax when Friday comes round. Also, having a lighter workload on Fridays can at the same time encourage the employees to reflect on their current work and be well-prepared for the following week.
The productivity drain, exhausting feeling and temptation of the weekends could decrease employees’ enthusiasm towards being consistently productive, resulting procrastination taking place. A reduction in quality of work could affect the company as a whole. Therefore, employers can suggest the above strategies and play a part in sustaining their performance and avoid burnouts as well.
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