There’s nothing quite like the weekend.
After working hard during the week, many people get to take a break on the weekend.
Because there are a few different definitions for weekends, you may be unsure of Friday’s status.
Is Friday part of the weekend?
Here’s what you need to know about Friday and weekends.
Is Friday A Weekend?
No, Friday is not a weekend.
The traditional definition of a weekend is, “The end of a week, especially the period of time between Friday evening and Monday morning.”
Based on this definition, Friday itself is not part of the weekend.
Rather, Friday evening is part of the weekend.
Once work hours end on Friday, it’s considered the end of a week and the start of the weekend.
The weekend continues through Saturday and Sunday.
It ends in the early hours of the morning on Monday before the workweek begins once more.
Another definition of a weekend complicates the matter.
The second definition of a weekend is, “This period as extended by one or more holidays, days off, or the like, that immediately precede or follow.”
An example is a three-day weekend.
This sometimes includes Friday.
For example, if a holiday falls on Friday, then you might have that off as well as Saturday and Sunday.
In this instance, Friday becomes part of the weekend.
You might also ask for a day off from work to give yourself a three-day weekend.
Once more, Friday becomes part of the weekend.
The final definition of a weekend is as follows, “Any two-day period taken or given regularly as a weekly rest period from one’s work.”
This definition expands the idea of a weekend to any two-day rest period.
This helps cover those who have odd days off from work.
For example, someone might have Thursday and Friday off from work.
In this case, Friday is a part of their weekend because it’s a two-day period of rest from work.
Another person might have Friday and Saturday off but work on Sunday.
This also makes Friday a weekend since it’s a two-day period of rest from work.
Traditionally, Friday is not part of the weekend.
Only the evening on Friday is.
However, based on certain factors like the presence of a holiday, vacation time, or a shifting work schedule, Friday might become part of a weekend.
When Did Weekends Start?
Weekends are a modern concept.
Their roots can trace back to the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s.
In Britain, in particular, there was much discussion over an additional day of rest for workers.
They already had Sunday off as that was considered the Sabbath.
Society expected everyone to attend church on Sunday and rest for the workweek ahead.
It was artisans who first pushed forward the idea of having a second day of rest.
They often worked until Saturday night to produce goods for their buyers.
They’d then rest on Sunday and attend church.
However, they found that they needed another day to properly rest from the hard work of the week.
They started practicing the observation of Saint Monday.
This gave them Mondays off as well as Sundays.
They’d work hard on Tuesday through Saturday night.
This idea caught fire.
Pretty soon workers in factories also started to observe Saint Monday.
The day in question, however, drew some ire from certain people.
Since Monday came after a day of rest, it made more sense for people to start work again, too.
Church groups were also interested in switching the day of rest to Saturday instead of Monday.
They believed that if workers were able to rest the day before Sunday, then it would encourage more people to attend church.
Some employers started to experiment with the idea.
The Early Closing Association formed, which lobbied the government for working on only half-Saturdays in return for working all of Monday.
It garnered some support among trade unions and leisure businessmen, too, who were looking to expand their services to the working class.
Football was another reason that the change started to cement itself.
In the late 1800s, there was a “football craze” sweeping through the nation.
Everyone wanted to watch the game which took place on Saturday afternoons.
The official weekend, which consists of 48 hours of rest, finally became established in the 1930s.
It would take time for all employers to acknowledge it, but eventually, it swept across the world and the modern weekend came into existence.
Who Created The Five-Day Workweek?
While England may have kicked off the establishment of a two-day weekend, there was also a major push for five-day workweeks in America, too.
In the United States, the establishment of the five-day workweek also signaled the start of the 40-hour workweek, minimum wage, overtime pay, and child labor standards.
President Franklin Roosevelt signed the bill into law, but several other moving parts were responsible for getting the bill going.
One of the most prominent voices was none other than Henry Ford.
Henry Ford is best known for his role in modernizing the factory.
He created efficient assembly lines that allowed his company to produce automobiles fast and cheaply.
It also helped with the war effort when World War II reared its ugly head.
Ford was already a supporter of an eight-hour workday.
Besides giving his workers time to rest, which meant they’d be able to work more efficiently, it also meant they had more time.
Ford was a tad kinder to his workers than other employers.
However, his push for a five-day workweek was also a business decision.
He believed that if workers had more time off, then they had more opportunities to take vacations or travel.
In order to do leisure activities, they’d need cars.
That’d lead them right to his automobile business.
Ford found the original seven-day workweek outdated.
He was one of the larger voices promoting a five-day workweek, which helped get it established by the American government.
As a result, one could say that Henry Ford is the reason behind the five-day workweek.
Will There Be A Four-Day Workweek?
There’s no question that modern workers have a different relationship with work than their predecessors.
While few people probably enjoy working, the WHO has given an official description of work burnout that can affect employees.
Among its symptoms are the following:
- Feelings of energy depletion and exhaustion.
- Feeling mentally distant from one’s job.
- Increased feelings of negativity or cynicism about one’s job.
- Reduced professional efficacy.
These symptoms can also impact a person biologically.
They may experience high blood pressure, problems with insulin, and high cholesterol.
All these factors can go on to become serious diseases that can lead to lethal consequences.
Because of this, health experts are looking for a way to help reduce worker burnout.
The idea of a five-day workweek is no longer needed in many of today’s industries.
As technology continues to advance, workers can get more done than ever in a single day.
Instead of having more work dropped onto their laps, employers should be looking to reward their hard work by giving them another day off.
It’s an experiment that certain European countries have started with great success.
The first European country to start the experiment of a four-day workweek was Iceland.
They found that their workers maintained their productivity, if not increased it, and reported greater happiness after the three-day weekend.
Other European countries are also looking to test out four-day weeks to determine their results.
Even in the United States, some companies have started experimenting with four-day workweeks.
While the shift to four-day workweeks will likely be slow, it’s a promising start for workers who need more than just two days to relax and recover.
What Are The Disadvantages Of A Four-Day Workweek?
While a four-day workweek would be beneficial for many people, it does create some problems for certain industries.
The application of four-day workweeks might also cause problems.
For example, the model that Belgium intends to use to test their four-day workweek is to condense their four workdays into 10-hour shifts.
This is problematic because it’s difficult for humans to focus and work that long.
Even eight hours can be a struggle in certain industries.
For example, those industries that rely on a “flow” or deep thought for hours on end typically start to show less efficiency and productivity after six hours.
Since deep thought is draining on the brain, and the brain only has so much energy to give during a single day, the worker expends a lot of it in a shorter amount of time.
A 10-hour workday would likely see that individual becoming significantly less productive the longer the work hours wear on, especially if they’re given the same amount of time to rest during the workday.
There’s also the question of how this would affect part-time workers.
Employers who can get away with not paying their workers overtime because they’re part-time workers may find additional loopholes with the new labor laws.
Those who work part-time may either find that they’re working about the same without being able to participate in the extra day off or working more without having the extra day off.
It also causes problems with businesses that work with clients or billing.
Because everyone will be working hard to finish their tasks in four days, it may encourage teamwork.
It might make it difficult for some businesses to do business since they no longer have a day in which to make appointments with clients.
The way businesses plan to format their four-day workweeks could determine whether having the extra day off is really going to matter or not.
While four-day workweeks are needed, the specifics of the structure of the workweek still need careful planning.
What Were Weekends Originally Used For?
Before businesses and trade unions started pushing for Saturday to be a day of rest, the weekend was just Sunday.
Its purpose was to use it as a day of worship and rest.
In Jewish tradition, the Sabbath took place on Friday evening and went until Saturday evening.
In Christian tradition, Sunday was the sabbath.
Everyone, regardless of class, had expectations to don their best outfits and attend church.
They’d receive their sermons from their church head and then leave.
Sometimes the sabbath would include communion or other rituals.
It was only when the trade unions and various businesses started pushing for Saturday to join the day of rest that the weekend became more secular.
While it did result in more people attending church, since they were more rested to do so, Saturday was a day spent in leisure.
People played games, visited friends and family, watched football, and essentially relaxed after a hard week’s worth of work.
It all started, however, with observing the sabbath on Sunday.
Why Is Sunday Part Of A Weekend When It’s At The Start Of The Week?
When looking at most calendars, you’ll notice that Sunday is actually at the beginning of the week.
Saturday is at the end of the week.
This may make you wonder why they’re both called the weekend when Sunday actually kicks the week off.
That’s because Sunday and Saturday are rest periods for most workers.
Since they’re not part of the traditional workweek, they’re actually the ends of the week.
You can think of Saturday as the end of the week.
Sunday is the beginning of the next week.
They aren’t part of the week, itself.
They’re like caps sitting on each end of the week.
Another way to think of it is like a pencil.
The tip is at one end of the pencil while the eraser is at the other end.
Sunday is the tip and Saturday is the eraser.
Saturday is at the far end of the week and Sunday is at the beginning end of the week.
What Are The Names Of The Week In The Bible?
Although modern calendars use the names Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to indicate the days of the week, this wasn’t always the case.
In Biblical times, the Hebrew calendar indicated the days of the week.
They used simple names to distinguish each day from one another.
Sunday became known as the first day.
Monday became known as the second day.
Tuesday became known as the third day.
Wednesday became known as the fourth day.
Thursday became known as the fifth day.
Friday became known as the sixth day as well as the eve of the sabbath.
Saturday became known as the seventh day and sabbath.
This is also why Sunday starts the week off on modern-day calendars.
It’s still the first day.
Who Came Up With The Days Of The Week?
The seven-day calendar is a Babylonian invention.
They had observed that the world operated according to a 28-day lunar cycle.
As a result, they split the 28 days into four weeks with seven days to each week.
They gave each day a name according to a celestial body.
Those names would go through a few changes over the centuries.
The Romans first changed the names and named them their own gods.
Then the Anglo-Saxons influenced the names further.
Eventually, they became Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as we know them today.
Friday is not traditionally part of the weekend, but it might become part of the weekend due to a change in a work shift or a holiday.
It could become an official part of the weekend if a four-day workweek ever becomes the norm.