By Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Special for USDR
New research released today from Enterprise Rent-A-Car reveals that our weekends are increasingly under siege by our jobs. According to Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s “On Weekend” survey, nearly seven out of 10 individuals work at least one weekend per month. And when they do work over a weekend, survey respondents indicate that they put in the equivalent of a full day – an average of nearly nine hours.
What’s more, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (63%) said their employers expect them to work over the weekend, and 61 percent said they have a hard time not thinking about work over the weekend. Younger workers in particular, those ages 25-44, have a harder time keeping their minds off work, compared with those who are older (74% compared with 49% of those 45-60 and 39% of those who are 61+). In addition, two-thirds (67%) said they are plugged into the office on a typical weekend, mostly through reading or answering work-related emails.
“We went into the survey anticipating that work would creep into a weekend every now and then. However, this data opened our eyes to the fact that, for many of us, the work week doesn’t really end at the weekend, but spills right into it,” said Steve Short, vice president at Enterprise. Realizing this, it’s no wonder that 85 percent of survey respondents said they want to get more out of their weekends and 83 percent described their weekends as ‘never long enough’. The bottom line is that we need to make the most of the time we have outside the office. Fortunately, there are things we can do to maximize our weekends and ensure that ‘work creep’ doesn’t become the norm.”
Jonathan Alpert, psychotherapist and author of BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life in 28 Days, agrees. Some of his tips to help individuals make the most of their weekends include:
- Change your thinking. Focusing on negative thoughts such as “I’m so busy” and “the weekend is too short” is sure to keep you feeling overwhelmed and prevent you from enjoying the weekend. Shift your thinking to “I’ll make good use of the time that I do have” or “I can only do so much in a day, so I’ll accomplish what’s reasonable today, while making sure I relax, too.”
- Step out of your comfort zone and change the scenery. Don’t let your weekends become a monotonous routine. Challenge yourself with new physical or intellectual activities and make each new weekend different from the last. Give your own vehicle a rest and rent a car. Go someplace new within a few hours of home. We tend to overlook attractions that are within reach when we think about vacations so here’s your opportunity to discover things just a drive away.
- Don’t sleep the day away. Although it’s tempting, sleeping in will rob you of valuable time to get out there and make the most of the day. Further, it will eventually interfere with your sleep schedule during the rest of the week. Instead, if you’re tired, take a short power nap during the day.
- Strike a balance between planning ahead and going with the flow. Look forward to activities and have plans in place, but be flexible and don’t pack your weekend too full. If you make too many plans, then you might feel pressure and stress to accomplish all of them. On the other hand, not doing anything will make you feel like your weekend was unproductive. The key is to strike a balance that works for you.
- Conquer the “Sunday blues”. People sometimes can’t enjoy the weekend because their head is wrapped up in the work week that lies ahead. There are things you can do, such as preparing for Monday every Friday, that can help you beat those blues.
“Above all else, it’s important for people to remember that the weekends are their time to recharge and take a break,” said Alpert. “Spend time with family or friends, go on a leisurely stroll or get out of town for a couple of nights. No matter what you do, the key is to try to take a break from work and unplug with the time you have.”
Speaking of unplugging, the survey also revealed some interesting insights regarding the impact of social media on our weekends. Not surprisingly, nearly seven out of 10 (66%) working Americans with a social media account share information about their weekends on a social channel. However, 56 percent indicated that sharing their weekend on social media sometimes makes them feel like they are competing with their friends, and 55 percent revealed that sharing their weekend on social media makes it harder for them to be in the moment.
“There are tremendous benefits to social media, but also a few pitfalls,” Alpert added. “Being constantly connected to smartphones and social media spreads your attention thin and can sap you of energy at a time when you’re trying to recharge. We could all benefit from going ‘off the grid’ for a bit, and the weekend is a good time to do just that.”
When asked what could make weekends better, top survey responses included: “exploring new places” (54%), “getting out of town” (51%) and “more weekend trips” (48%).
“Enterprise makes it easy for people to take a weekend getaway,” said Short. “We have locations in most every neighborhood and affordable rates. Think of us as your ‘weekend wingman.'”
Other noteworthy findings from the Enterprise survey include:
- Parents as planners:
- Nearly a quarter (24%) of parents indicate that their weekends are “entirely planned”, compared with 15 percent of the general population.
- Men and women have different weekends:
- 45 percent of men spend most of their weekends pursuing their hobbies and passions, compared with only 20 percent of women.
- Weekends feel longer as workers get older:
- 80 percent of 25-44 year olds say they live their lives “only on the weekends, and it never quite feels long enough,” compared with 52 percent of those 61+.
For more information about Enterprise, visit www.enterprise.com.
The Enterprise brand – which comprises Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Enterprise CarShare, Enterprise Truck Rental, Enterprise Car Sales, the Exotic Car Collection by Enterprise, Zimride by Enterprise and RideShare by Enterprise – offers customers a total transportation solution. Its flagship brand, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, was founded in 1957 and is known for an extensive network of convenient locations, affordable rates and outstanding customer service. Enterprise Rent-A-Car was ranked on BusinessWeek magazine’s annual list of “Customer Service Champs” for four years in a row. Enterprise operates not only as a key provider for insurance replacement, weekend getaways and special occasions, but also as a local transportation alternative. With more than 5,800 fully staffed airport and neighborhood offices located within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population, Enterprise can meet whatever transportation need customers may have – renting, buying or sharing.
Enterprise commissioned an online survey of 1,000 Americans aged 25 and older, which was fielded from February 22-27, 2017. Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated.