Workers overestimate hours on the job by 5 to 10 per cent, study finds
So you think you and your employees are putting in hours of overtime on the job? Think again: People overestimate the number of hours they usually work by 5 per cent to 10 per cent – and the longer they think they work, the more they tend to exaggerate it, finds a study done at the University of Maryland and reported here in Harvard Business Review, here on Inc.com and here in The New York Times.
The study, led by sociology professor John P. Robinson at the University of Maryland, examined time diaries U.S. workers kept to track their activities. It found that people who say they work 55 to 64 hours a week overstate their workweek by an average of 10 hours, and those who say they work 65 to 74 hours are off by an average of 20 hours.
Why the time-at-work inflation? For one thing, the study says, people may factor in time spent commuting and on lunch breaks and factor out time devoted to “household crises or other sudden nonwork demands.”
As well, they may be looking for “social desirability.” In other words, lower time estimates on the job “could be taken as a sign of being lazy or irresponsible,” says the study.
Ironically, notes Inc.'s report, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest employment summary reported an increase in the average workweek in September.
The New York Times points out that the study found that overestimates of work hours are found in other countries, too. Canada included?
Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday
Tomorrow brings Canada’s first Small Business Saturday. More than 3,000 businesses have registered, offering a variety of deals and discounts for the day designed to promote shopping at Canadian small businesses. It’s an initiative of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Interac. It follows a similar event held in the United States, where, last year, more than 100 million U.S. shoppers opened their pocketbooks at smaller merchants on U.S. Small Business Saturday. For more information on Canada’s day, click here.
Seven deadly startup roadblocks
No startup capital. A fear of failure. If these sound familiar, they are among seven roadblocks that this Forbes piece says can stop startup entrepreneurs “dead in their tracks.” How to overcome them? Have a read.
EVENTS AND KEY DATES
MaRs Startup Book Club
The $100 Startup: Reinvent The Way You Make A Living, Do What You Love, And Create A New Future by Chris Guillebeau will be up for discussion when the MaRs Startup Book Club holds its next event on Nov. 6 in Toronto. For more information, click here.
Small Business Summit Toronto
Get a jump on and an early-bird discount until Oct. 26 for the next Small Business Summit, taking place in Toronto on Nov. 22. For more information on the day-long event for entrepreneurs brought to you by The Globe and Mail’s Report on Small Business, click here.
EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS
Cross-country tool exposes gap for startups
Events held by Startup Canada in a 40-city tour across the country highlighted a confusing fragmentation of organizations and programs to help get entrepreneurs up and running, says the co-founder of the non-governmental advocacy group in this report. Its events got entrepreneurs together and talking, creating opportunities for financing, sales and mentoring.
FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES
Entrepreneurs must fight fear of selling
They may be brash and they may be risk-takers, but many entrepreneurs are not immune to a phobia about selling. Whether it's apprehension about rejection, intimidation or dread about public speaking, there are ways to overcome it, reported this story published in June, 2011.
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