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British workers officially switch off for the weekend at 2.39pm on Friday, it has been revealed. The study of 2,000 office workers found the majority wind things down mentally well before leaving time, with nearly half admitting they take Fridays a lot easier than any other day and many deliberately ignoring calls or messages.
A resolute six in ten feel entitled to wind down earlier on a Friday because they work over their contracted hours throughout the week, and more than 80% said their boss still gets ‘value for money’ by employing them.
Many relaxed workers admitted to deliberately scaling down workloads to wind things up early on a Friday, pinpointing 1.32pm as the time they really start shifting into lower gear – and by 2.39pm, workers have mentally started their weekends, results showed.
The research, commissioned by British Airways to launch their #HelloWeekend initiative, found the Friday afternoon wind-down consists of browsing social media profiles, arranging weekend plans and sorting personal finances.
And there really is such a thing as ‘the Friday Feeling’ – one third said their workplace has a noticeably better atmosphere on a Friday and 47% said their boss is a lot more lenient towards the end of the week.
Professor Frank Bond, a leading expert in Occupational Psychology, who has worked with British Airways to dissect the results said:
”With most people working more than their contracted hours, it is perhaps no surprise that people tend to take their foot off the pedal on Friday afternoons.
”It’s certainly not ideal to have important meetings at the end of the week, as we wind down for the weekend. In most cases, that meeting can wait until Monday morning.
”A great deal of research shows that giving such control over work scheduling makes employees more productive, motivated and healthy.”
A quarter regularly ignores emails on a Friday, and 28% often fall victim to a severe case of selective hearing when the phone rings – or push it straight to voicemail.
While the average worker puts at least three important things on hold until Monday because they just can’t bear to deal with them at the end of the week.
Instead, conducting online shopping, emailing friends and family and even booking holidays also featured in the top 10 activities workers were likely to sneak in at the end of the week.
Although the average official finishing time was still 5pm, three in ten do sometimes get let out early and a fifth enjoy casual dress on a Friday.
Robin Glover-Faure, Head of Shorthaul for British Airways, said:
”With this research revealing that Brits are switching off for the weekend slightly earlier than the traditional 5pm, it’s clear to see that planning ahead and having exciting activities lined up is more important than ever.
”At British Airways we celebrate the weekend through our #HelloWeekend scheme, offering an array of amazing destinations across Europe and the UK from just £119 per person, for return flights and hotel – all easy to spontaneously book throughout the week.”
TOP 10 WAYS BRITS TAKE IT EASY ON FRIDAY:
2. Emailing friends and family
3. Browsing news and entertainment sites
4. Banking and personal finance
5. Online shopping
6. Arranging weekend plans
7. Phoning friends and family
8. Planning holidays
10. Other social media