'Sleepworking' Affects More Than Half of Small Businesses

Jan. 4, 2008
Small business owners report turning their work dreams' into action.

In an interesting survey 51% of small-business professionals said that they "sleepwork" (i.e. dream about work), and nearly 70% of those "sleepworkers" report they wake up and put their "work dreams" to action. According to the 2nd Annual Staples National Small-Business 98% of U.S. small-business owners and managers are working during their time off -- including nights, weekends and vacations -- and nearly 54% expect to work even harder in 2008.

Other results include:

  • The car remains a favorite place to work, with 72% saying they make business calls while driving and nearly 40% saying they get their best ideas behind the wheel.
  • Slightly more than 38% cannot remember the last time they took a vacation.
  • If given a choice, nearly 52% said they would accept comparable business results in 2008 if they could have twice as much free time, while 48% said they would work even more hours if they could double their companys sales.
  • More than 84% said they have not yet incorporated new media (blogs, podcasts, virtual meeting software or services) into their business activities.
  • Fifty-two percent make New Years resolutions for their business. Of those, 58% said they resolve to increase business, while only 21% said they want more time off. Thirty-five percent said they want to increase profits/eliminate debt.

The Internet poll -- which surveyed 300+ small businesses with no more than 20 employees -- explored what is causing the insatiable need to work, as well as the obstacles preventing these hard-working Americans from enjoying their free time afforded by previous generations. The results revealed organization and teamwork are the top factors why owners and managers are working so many hours. Nearly 70% admitted they do not have a written business plan. Almost three-quarters consider themselves organized, but only 33% percent said they complete the tasks on their "to-do" list each day. Slightly more than two-thirds said they feel constantly challenged by not having enough time to get work done and nearly 44% said customer fulfillment takes up the majority of their time while at work.

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