Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

The Phenomenon Known As "Sleepworking"

January 03, 2008

Have you ever had one of those nights during which you work all night long, even while you're asleep?

I suspect if you said "no," you're in a minority. Just as most of us have had one of those nights where we have an annoying snippet of a song in our heads ?a commercial jingle, a catchy pop song, a nursery rhyme — running on constant repeat in our heads all night long, even during sleep, the vast majority of workers have had a night during which they are "working" in their heads.


According to a new study, "sleepworking" affects small business owners the most. The 2nd Annual Staples National Small-Business Survey revealed that more than half of small business professionals said that work has actually become part of their dreams.  Fifty-one percent of those surveyed said that they “sleepwork” (i.e., dream about work), and nearly 70 percent of those “sleepworkers” report they wake up and put their “work dreams” to action.

The survey also revealed that 98 percent of U.S. small-business owners and managers are working during their time off – including nights, weekends and vacations – and nearly 54 percent expect to work even harder in 2008.

“Our customers often tell us there just aren’t enough hours in the day, so it’s understandable that business activity is invading sleep time,” said John Giusti, vice president of small business marketing at Staples. “At Staples, we work hard to make sure it is easy for small businesses to buy office products, helping them focus their time and energy on running their businesses – and hopefully to get a good night’s sleep.”

Other interesting results include:

-- The car remains a favorite place to work, with 72 percent saying they make business calls while driving and nearly 40 percent saying they get their best ideas behind the wheel.

-- Slightly more than 38 percent cannot remember the last time they took a vacation.

-- If given a choice, nearly 52 percent said they would accept comparable business results in 2008 if they could have twice as much free time, while 48 percent said they would work even more hours if they could double their company’s sales.

-- More than 84 percent said they have not yet incorporated “new media” (blogs, podcasts, virtual meeting software or services) into their business activities.

-- Fifty-two percent make New Year’s resolutions for their business. Of those, 58 percent said they resolve to increase business, while only 21 percent said they want more time off. Thirty-five percent said they want to increase profits/eliminate debt.

-- The Internet poll – which surveyed more than 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 percent 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 percent said customer fulfillment takes up the majority of their time while at work.

View the full study at www.acop.com.

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