Our society is one focused on work. In order to be able to afford something, we need money, and therefore we need a job. It might not be very romantic but it’s the truth. Many of us work at a company that makes use of the typical five-day work week, meaning you get to sit behind your desk from Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. Even though this is still true for many amongst us, things are starting to change. For the better.
Part-time jobs have been around since forever but they’re having a real moment since the pandemic hit. Not only are employers being more flexible in terms of working hours and working from home, a lot of people are also beginning to see the interest of working less. Instead of five days a week, we’re turning towards a four-day system. Some countries like Spain and Iceland are already conducting experiments on a larger scale but even if you’re not concerned by those trials, you could still ask your boss for a day off every week. And if you’re self-employed, you really haven’t got an excuse to stop yourself from going part-time. Yet which day to choose?
Many of us would instinctively opt for Monday or Friday. It’s an easy way to extend the weekend and it just seems like the smart thing to do. But that’s where you’re wrong. According to science, Wednesday is the perfect day to enjoy a break in your work week.
“Everyone has a different chronotype. Some people are slower moving, some people are faster moving. Our work, though, just goes and throws that out the window and says actually, this is how fast you have to work, this is when you have to work”, says Dawna Ballard, a communications professor at University of Texas at Austin and a scholar of chronemics, the study of time and communication, in an interview with Quartz.
In short, we have an internal and an external pacer. The internal one is personal (for example you might be an early riser or a night owl), the external one are the conditions imposed by society (or your job, in this case).
It’s having to go from your pacer, back to this other pacer, there’s that friction.Dawna Ballard
And that’s why it’s smart to introduce a break into your working week. A day where you can readapt to your internal pace and recharge. If you take the Monday or Friday off and thereby extend your weekend, the change of pace will even be harsher and therefore more fatiguing. On top of that, a free Wednesday means you get less confronted with the crowds if you want to do something for yourself. Think empty shops, calm swimming pools and reservation-free dining. We’re all for Wednesdays off already.