One Week On One Week Off Work Pattern: Does It Work?

One Week On One Week Off Feature Image

Have you observed that your most productive days often occur when you’re back from a break or vacation? That means vacations are more or less productivity boosters. Working all year round without taking a break sets you up for stress and burnout. As a result, individuals are likely to see a steady decline in their productivity stats the more they work without breaks.

The concept of individuals going on breaks more often has led to the “one week on, one week off pattern.” 

What Is the One Week On One Week Off Pattern?

The concept of the one week on, one week off pattern is straightforward for individuals and organizations, as it simply means rotating between work days and rest days intermittently on a weekly basis. That is, you work for a full week, then rest in the subsequent week. 

One Week On One Week Off Pattern

It has been argued that adoption of the pattern would incur more personnel costs for organizations. However, the reality proves differently. If in implementing the pattern more hands are needed, organizations can adopt the model of paying staff based on the number of hours worked and not have to pay more than needed.

What Are the Benefits of the Work Schedule?

One Week On One Week Off Benefits

Some of the benefits linked to the one week on, one week off pattern include:

  • Reduced stress levels
  • Burnout prevention
  • Increased productivity
  • Work-life balance

Who Are the People Who Typically Apply this Concept?

The concept of the one week on, one week off pattern is believed to have originated in the medical field. With medical personnel known to work long shifts, the idea was to give them a week off to recuperate from the stress of working long shifts.

One Week On One Week Off Medical Practitioner

On average, individuals work for 40 hours a week, but those who typically apply this concept work for more than 40 hours a week. However, physicians have stated that individuals older than the age of 55 should not be adopting this schedule. Those above 55 may not have the strength to work for seven straight days. 

Even younger and more agile individuals working the schedule often spend the first two days of their week off resting due to the physical and mental toll the schedule takes on them. 

What Is the Current Research on this Concept? 

One Week On One Week Off Stats

Unfortunately, there’s little or no research to back up this work schedule. The only reported study close to the concept makes a  comparison of the 7 days on, 7 days off work pattern against the 14 days on, 14 days off pattern. The conclusion of the research was neither in support nor against the concept.

Is There Conclusive Proof of the Viability of this Concept?

There’s no idea, technique, or strategy that works for everyone. No matter how great a concept is, it will work for some people and not for others. The work schedule in contention is not an exception to the trend. 

One Week On One Week Off Proof

Considering some of the comments made by some medical practitioners who are assumed to be the originators, the concept is a hit or miss.


The one week on, one week off pattern may look appealing, as it appears you get to rest for the same length of time you have to work. However, the concept is not a shoe-in for everyone, as the one week on may prove to be more stressful than the regular 40 hours of work.

Maria Victoria Dela Pena

Maria is a Content Writer with a keen interest in Productivity and Internet Marketing. She has profound knowledge on communication and understands what it takes to write persuasive copy and blog posts. Outside of work, you can find her mini-blogging about her life on social media.