I used to love working in the lab on Saturdays. No, I didn’t spend every Saturday in the lab and yes, I did have a life outside of the lab (that’s one reason Saturday work was so great). But there are some great benefits to working in the lab on the weekend:
Beat the commute
When I was a post doc, I commuted 60 miles one way to the lab, with the traffic. When I worked on the weekend, I felt like I was using my time much more efficiently because I wasn’t wasting it sitting on the highway (although I did listen to the whole Harry Potter series).
I felt a lot less harried working in the lab by myself. No one was waiting for the centrifuge or walking quickly by when I was carrying around large amounts of liquid.
Have the place to yourself
I used to love the freedom of walking into the lab and knowing that it was all mine (mostly) for the day. Cackle, cackle (evil laugh). Pity the fellow lab mate that also decided to work the same day.
Work more efficiently
Sometimes it’s hard not to get drawn into the lab gossip or join the next coffee break. When you work alone, you tend to get more things done (unless you are a Facebook addict).
Concentrate on hard/long experiments
It’s hard to concentrate on a hard/large/long experiment during the regular work week. Your day is always interrupted by lab meetings, seminars, your PI wanting the latest data, students who need teaching and vendors. It’s a wonder anything gets done Monday-Friday. I always planned large and/or complicated experiments on the weekend when I knew I could focus completely.
Peace of mind
As a mother of young children, a little part of my mind was reserved for worrying about my kids while I was at work. I worried if they had gotten off to a bad start, I wondered how their day with the sitter was going, I prayed I wasn’t going to be late picking them up (again).
On the weekends, my kids were with my husband, and a lot of this worry was relieved. I only had to worry about the fun I was missing out on.
What do you enjoy about working in the lab on the weekend?