Produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the ATUS Report measures the amount of time people spend doing various activities, such as paid work, childcare, volunteering, and socializing. In her blog, Stack says 2011 ATUS data paints a picture of a nation working harder than ever, significantly exceeding the “traditional”
The workers among the survey population worked an average of 77 more minutes per week in 2011 than they did in 2010, although Stack points out that does not necessarily mean 77 minutes of productivity were added. At a time when unemployment rates are high, people with jobs tend to put in more work time in order to give the appearance of heightened commitment to their job—a job security strategy Stack says some business owners and managers may be taking advantage of, with debatable results.
“Keep in mind that working longer hours doesn’t guarantee increased workplace productivity,”
“So more employers are, once again, managing to squeeze a little more work out of their employees. It’ll be interesting to see whether this trend continues next year.”
Every year since 2003, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has compiled this annual survey that details how Americans over the age of 15 use their daily time. The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) offers a valuable glimpse into everything Americans do: the amount of time taken for sleep, rest and relaxation, and the number of hours worked on the average day. The 2011 results, released on June 22, 2012, come from interviews and surveys with 12,500 individuals.
The mission of the ATUS study is to develop a comprehensive understanding of how Americans use their time. In this latest study, statistics were collected for the first time on how much time Americans have devoted to “eldercare”—
For business purposes, the category associated with work and related activities provides the most revealing data, Stack says, showing an increase in the average number of work hours Americans put in daily, reversing a trend observed the year before.
From a productivity standpoint, the ATUS study can be an important barometer on the qualities of American workforce habits during economic crunch times, and a way to measure actual productivity levels when people are working longer hours and taking less time for leisure activities.
For more information on the ATUS study and workplace productivity, visit TheProductivityPro.com website, Email Laura@TheProductivityPro.com, or call 303-471-7401.
About Laura Stack:
Laura Stack is a time management and productivity expert who has been speaking and writing about human potential and peak performance since 1992. She has implemented employee productivity improvement programs at Wal-Mart, Cisco Systems, UBS, Aramark, and Bank of America. Stack presents keynotes and seminars internationally for leaders, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and professional services firms on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in the workplace.
The president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management firm specializing in high-stress environments, Stack is the bestselling author of five books: “What to do When There’s Too Much to do” (2012); “SuperCompetent”