Is Saturday a business day? What does a business day even mean? If you're pondering on these, then you are not alone. This term is often confused with regular or working days.
Understanding business days is important for many reasons:
- If you're expecting a package, knowing the delivery schedule can help you plan.
- If you're a business owner, your operating hours could impact your customer footfall and revenue.
- If you work in an industry that operates on Saturdays, it could affect your work schedule.
What's a business day?
A business day refers to any day of the week on which normal business operations can be conducted. Though varying from one region to another, the definition of a business day is understood to be a day between Monday and Friday.
A day qualifies to be a business day if official business can be carried out legally. Many countries base the definition of a business day on banking days.
In most countries, Monday to Friday is considered a business day, and it runs from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm in Western countries, or 8:00 am to 5:00 pm in most African countries. So it’s safe to say that a business day refers to the legal hours in a day when normal business operations can take place.
These activities vary from one industry to another, for instance:
- Banking Business day: In-person banking services, deposits, withdrawals, account assistance, etc.
- Education: Learning activities, group discussions, administering exams, admin tasks, etc.
- Government offices: official government services such as issuing IDs, applications, etc.
Now, a business day defers from a working day, as there are activities that should only be done during official business hours. Some industries have Saturdays or even Sundays as working days when employees are usually paid overtime to do non-official work. Cleaners do come in way before official business hours.
Who created the 40-hour workweek?
The 40-hour workweek is largely attributed to Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company. In 1926, Ford implemented a five-day, 40-hour work week for his factory workers. This was a significant reduction from the prevailing norm of six-day work weeks and much longer working hours per day.
The idea and the struggle for shorter work hours were not new and had been part of the labor movement for many years. Labor activists in the 19th century, for instance, were fighting for a ten-hour workday. The slogan “Eight hours' labour, Eight hours' recreation, Eight hours' rest” was a common demand among workers during the industrial revolution.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), passed in the United States in 1938, also played a critical role in establishing the 40-hour work week as a standard. The law set the maximum workweek at 44 hours, and it was later amended to 40 hours. Overtime pay was required for hours worked beyond these limits.
So, is Saturday a business day?
No, Saturday is not conventionally considered a business day. Traditionally, a business day refers to any day during which regular activities are conducted by businesses. In most cases, this includes Monday through Friday, excluding public holidays.
The five-day workweek has been a long-standing convention in many parts of the world, especially in Western countries. This standard was established during the Industrial Revolution when labor laws were implemented to limit the workweek and ensure workers had adequate rest.
For many businesses, this meant operating only on weekdays and closing on weekends.
However, it's important to note that not all industries or businesses follow this traditional five-day workweek.
It's also worth considering that in some cultures and countries, the workweek may not align with the Western Monday-Friday standard. For instance, in several Middle Eastern countries, the workweek typically runs from Sunday to Thursday.
In the modern era, with the advent of the internet and the global nature of many businesses, the concept of a ‘business day' is becoming less rigid. Many companies now operate 24/7, with employees working in shifts, remote work, or flexible hours, breaking away from the traditional 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday structure. In these cases, Saturday might be a regular working day for some employees.
When is Saturday a business day?
Some companies enforce a Saturday working day. In this case, Saturday may be considered a business day. This, however, doesn’t apply in established sectors like Banking that are well-regulated.
Businesses that operate under 24/7 formats have their employees working on Saturdays and Sundays. These extra days can be referred to as working days. Usually, most operations carried out are customer support, inquiries, and minor transactions. In retail, however, this could mean all the official business operations.
Understanding business days
Monday through Friday are considered business days, but weekends and holidays are not.
Also, note that important public holidays (federal holidays) that fall on weekends are usually observed during the weekdays, thus affecting the number of business days in a year.
If a transaction or shipment takes five business days, weekends and holidays are not counted in. So, a shipment may take seven days to arrive on a strict five-business days delivery.
FAQs about business days
Is Saturday considered a working day for shipping?
No, Saturday is not considered a business day for shipping. If you make an order online on Friday evening with two days delivery, the business days will start counting from Monday, the following week.
How long is a business day? Or, How many hours is a business day?
A business day is 24 hours long. This should not be confused with working hours. Business hours start from 12:00 am through 11:59 pm.
How Long is a working day? Or, how many work hours are there in a day?
A working day in the US and most Western countries is 7 hours long, running from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with a one-hour lunch break. In other countries, working hours are often longer, running from 8:00 am through 5:00 pm.
Also, work hours on weekends are usually less. Most banks, for instance, only open till 12 noon on Saturdays.
Does Amazon consider Saturday a business day?
No, Amazon does not count Saturdays or Sundays as business days. Since Amazon calculates its transit times using business days, a package scheduled to be shipped in 5 business days may take seven days to arrive.
That said, Amazon does have a weekend delivery option, meaning that the five business days may be five working days if you opt to receive the product on the weekend.
Do weekends count as business days for shipping?
No, weekends typically do not count as business days for shipping. Most shipping companies and postal services operate on a standard business week, which includes Monday through Friday, excluding national holidays. This means that if you place an order or send a package, the transit time will usually only count the business days and not include weekends.
For instance, if a company offers “3 business day shipping,” and you place an order on a Wednesday, you can expect your package to arrive the following Monday, provided there are no holidays. Wednesday would be considered day one, Thursday day two, and Friday day three.
However, it's important to note that some shipping services may offer weekend delivery at an additional cost, or as part of their standard services, depending on the region and the specific service. Companies like Amazon, for example, often deliver packages on Saturdays and sometimes even on Sundays, depending on the location and the type of delivery service chosen.
Always check the specific shipping policy of the company you're ordering from or the postal service you're using to understand their definition of business days and their delivery schedule. This will help you accurately estimate when your package will arrive.
Is Sunday a business day for USPS?
No, Sunday is not an official business day for the United States Postal Service (USPS). However, USPS does deliver certain types of mail and packages on Sundays.
For instance, Priority Mail Express items and Amazon packages are delivered on Sundays in many parts of the U.S.
USPS has been known to deliver on Sundays during peak holiday periods to handle increased mail volumes.
What Is a calendar day?
A calendar day is a full 24-hour period, starting from midnight to midnight, on any day of the week as shown on a calendar. There are 7 calendar days in a week.
Unlike a ‘business day', or a ‘workday' which typically excludes weekends and sometimes holidays, a calendar day includes every day of the year.
This is an important distinction when it comes to things like contracts, shipping times, or project deadlines. If a service mentions a turnaround time in ‘calendar days', it includes weekends and holidays, whereas ‘business days' typically only include Monday through Friday.
How long is a calendar day?
A calendar day is exactly 24 hours long, starting from 12:00 AM (midnight) and ending at 11:59 PM on the same day.
This period encompasses the full cycle of a single day on the calendar, hence the term “calendar day.” It includes all the hours in a day, whether they fall during typical business hours, the evening, overnight, or early morning.
This is why when deadlines or other time frames are specified in calendar days, they include weekends and holidays, unlike when they are specified in business days.
What day will it be in 5 business days?
It depends on the current day. In general, five business days means seven regular days as this always cuts through the weekends. Assuming there are no holidays, then in 5 business days delivery will be as follows:
- If the current day is Monday: the 5th business day will be on the following Monday (7 regular days)
- If the current day is Tuesday: the 5th business day will be on the following Tuesday and so forth.
The presence of any public holiday will distort this pattern, making the total number of days to be eight or more.
Does a business day mean a full 24 hours?
Not necessarily. While a business day refers to a day on the calendar, it usually pertains to the standard operating hours of a business, which is often an 8-hour day, typically from 9 AM to 5 PM.
What does “3-5 business days” for shipping mean?
If a company specifies “3-5 business days” for shipping, it refers to the number of weekdays (Monday-Friday, excluding holidays) it will take for the package to be delivered after the order has been processed.
Can a business operate outside of standard business days?
Yes, many businesses, especially in sectors like retail, hospitality, and healthcare, operate seven days a week, including weekends and holidays. In such cases, every day can be a ‘business day' for these businesses.
How do holidays affect business days?
Holidays can significantly affect business days in several ways:
- Non-working days: In most countries and companies, public holidays are considered non-working days. This means that they are not counted as business days. As a result, operations such as shipping, banking, or customer service may be paused or limited on these days.
- Shipping and delivery delays: For businesses that rely on shipping and logistics, holidays can lead to delays. Since holidays are not typically counted as business days, the estimated delivery time for packages can be extended. This is particularly noticeable during major holiday seasons, like Christmas or New Year when there is a high volume of packages being sent and received.
- Payment processing: In the banking and financial sector, transactions might not be processed on public holidays. This can affect tasks such as paycheck processing, automatic bill payments, or the clearing of checks.
- Customer service availability: Customer service departments may have reduced hours or might not be available on public holidays, which could impact the level of support customers receive.
- Stock market trading: The stock market is typically closed on public holidays, which can affect trading activities.
- Workload and productivity: Holidays can impact the workload and productivity of a business. In the days leading up to a holiday, there might be a rush to complete tasks, whereas post-holiday, there might be a backlog of work to catch up on.
Is Sunday a business day?
No, Sunday is generally not considered a business day. It is commonly recognized as a day of rest, and worship.
Many businesses, including offices, banks, schools, and government services, are typically closed on Sundays. Exceptions to this general rule may include retail businesses, restaurants, and entertainment venues, which often operate on Sundays.