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Working at weekends and during the holidays undermines people’s motivation to work, says a new study.
Working on weekends and holidays undermines people’s intrinsic motivation for their professional and academic pursuits, according to a study from London School of Economics.
The study led by Laura M. Giurge from LSE shows that working during non-standard work time decreases intrinsic motivation by causing people to consider how the day could have been spent better had they not worked.
They say: “Whereas prior research found that what work people pursue can affect intrinsic motivation, we are the first to demonstrate that when people work also matters for intrinsic motivation.”
The research suggests ways to counter this. For instance, rather than considering better uses for one’s time, it is a good idea to encourage employees to think of positives about their work.
They say managers should seek ways to support and protect employees who have to work during non-standard hours by, for instance, facilitating connections among employees who have to work during non-standard work time. They add that managers also need to be careful in encouraging employees who work during non-standard work time to take time off.
Meanwhile, Pwc has joined employers who are offering summer hours. The firm has told employees that they can finish at lunchtime on Fridays between June and August. The ‘summer hours’ initiative was trialled in July and August last year and proved so popular that the firm has extended the scheme by a month this year. Kevin Ellis, chairman at PwC UK, said: “We knew summer working hours would be popular with our people, but the positive impact on wellbeing surpassed expectations.” A PwC poll of 6,000 workers saw three-quarters say the early finish “impacted their general wellbeing to a great extent”.