Labor Day picnic

A work culture that squeezes employees for extra time on Sundays, crimping or merely interrupting precious leisure time, can fuel burnout. So celebrate Labor Day for pushing reality back one more day.

The following column is the opinion and analysis of the writer.

Of the seven days allotted to a week, many working people keep claim on just two: Saturday and Sunday. The latter is often plagued by existential anxiety as the weekend draws to a close.

Technology has helpfully disseminated a name for this unease: the #SundayScaries. Dread gathers as the looming week ahead can no longer be denied. You won’t be sleeping late the next day. There will not be waffles.

A hint of the scaries is normal, like the minor yet shattering readjustment of Monday, the dull challenge of Tuesday and the beginning glimmer of Thursday. Too severe a case, and it might be time to reconsider your work life.

What if your week doesn’t wait till Monday to begin? Laptops and smartphones long ago rubbed out traditional lines between on and off the clock. “Sunday Night is the New Monday Morning, and Workers Are Miserable,” a recent The Wall Street Journal headline declared, connecting the scaries to the job creep of the technology age.

A voluntary quick check of email, calendar and Slack messages might make an employee feel less surprised and more prepared for the week, easing the shock of Monday morning.

Yet a work culture that squeezes employees for extra time on Sunday, crimping or merely interrupting precious leisure time, can fuel burnout.

There is one sure cure for the Sunday Scaries: a workweek that begins on Tuesday. Genius! Thank you, Labor Day, for a fully enjoyable summer Sunday, and for reality being one more day away.

Copyright 2019 Tribune Content Agency.