Funded by: Royal Society of Arts


November 2006 to May 2007

PSI researchers:

Background, summary and aims

Does labour productivity differ over days of the week and, if so, why and what are the implications?

Alex Bryson and John Forth will write a paper discussing this issue.. The paper asks whether productivity varies according to the day of the week and if this is significant for the deployment of labour either at a macro level (e.g. in relation to public holidays) or for individual businesses. The questions it might touch upon include:

  1. What do we know about productivity on different days?
    Have any studies been done – if not, why not?
    Is productivity on different days particularly difficult to measure?
  2. What do we know about whether happiness varies on different days of the week?
  3. Do we know anything about the relationship between happiness and productivity?
    Is there any known correlation between happiness and productivity?
    Does this lead us to suppose that there are productivity implications on different days?
  4. How would we find out?
    What research and data collection would be necessary?
    What would be the best methodology?
  5. What is the significance of variable productivity for different days of the week?
    How could we use this knowledge?
    What would it mean to society?

The paper will inform RSA thinking on this issue and determine whether they wish to pursue this issue further in future.


Bryson, A. Forth, J. (2007) Productivity and Days of the Week, Royal Society of Arts

Read the paper [pdf]