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It's official Tuesday is the new Monday and 2pm Friday is the time when 7 in 10 workers switch off from work according to new research released today by Peninsula, the employment law firm. Tuesday has now surpassed Monday as the most productive day for the first time.
When questioned about which day was the best for productivity UK workers and executives gave the following responses (with benchmark figures from the survey when conducted in 2003):
Monday- 17% (2003- 36%)
Tuesday- 48% (2003- 24%)
Wednesday- 16% (2003-15%)
Thursday- 9% (2003- 10%)
Friday- 6%(2003- 8%)
Saturday - 1% (2003 - 1%)
Sunday - 1% (2003 - 1%)
Don't know- 2% (2003- 5%)
In addition when workers and employers were asked when, and at what time, they traditionally wind down for the weekend, 76% of respondents said none or very little work gets done after 2pm on a Friday afternoon.
The national survey questioned 1362 UK employers and workers. "Don't think you’re going to get any work done on a Monday, you'll be too busy socialising and catching up," said Deb Gibbons, Head of Employee Relations for Peninsula. "Monday has always been the traditional productive day of the week but our research shows that for the first time Tuesday has surpassed this."
Gibbons continues, "Monday seems to be occupied with meetings, conference calls and catching up with email. It's also the day with greater sickness and absenteeism levels so as a consequence the real work gets started on a Tuesday. But don't count on getting work done on a Friday afternoon because it seems that three quarters of the working population wind-down at 2pm."
"Employees and bosses also put the most hours in on a Tuesday and more overtime is done on a Tuesday than on any other day of the week. When it comes to a Wednesday, challenges seem less exciting and the work becomes more routine, it's the middle of the week, the weekend still seems some distance away so momentum is not as high. Thursday is the start of the weekend wind-down and Friday tends to be the day when 2 hour lunches and casual Friday's are common, all having an impact on productivity."
Gibbons continues, "Whilst most of the working population stop work early on a Friday you have to remember that employers pay their staff to the end of the day so how much productivity is lost as a consequence?"
So how do we maintain a high level of productivity throughout the week? Deb Gibbons provides advice:
"Try and respond to email when it comes in rather than letting it build up.
As common sense as it seems, delegate work to others where possible especially if you are up against a deadline.
In the morning prioritise your work, set an agenda, give yourself specific time slots to manage your work and use tools such as Outlook.
Remain focused, take short breaks, grab yourself a coffee or get some fresh air, it just helps you feel refreshed and focused.
Concentrate on the task in hand make sure it is finished before starting something new."