The Lost Weekend may have been one of Billy Wilder’s greatest movies starring Ray Milland but a survey conducted by Premier Inn and covered by the Daily Telegraph on Saturday suggests a new meaning.

Based on a survey of 4,000 workers, Premier Inn concludes that most Britons only enjoy a one-day weekend:

– they don’t unwind until 12.38pm on Saturday night

– by 3.55pm on Sunday they are starting to worry about work again

– nearly half checked their email over the weekend

– 53% were "too tired" to fully enjoy the weekend

Is the weekend under threat from the trend towards boundary-less jobs, 24/7 communication and the pressure to be virtually present? Maggie Smith’s Dowager asked in Downton Abbey "What’s a weekend?" This was a fair question as workers still worked Saturday mornings in 1912 and had only just got Saturday afternoons off, hence the birth of professional football. This was thanks in part to technological progress. Forty years further on and Churchill, then PM had a vision of "giving the working man what he’s never had – four days’ work and then three days’ fun."

So where did it all go wrong? Why has an era of accelerating technological advancement caused us to go backwards with leisure time so that the weekend is steadily disappearing?

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