Home Office Time Management Survey Results

lone rangerJust before the holidays I used Survey Monkey to conduct a time management survey among people who work form home. Since then many of the participants asked to see the results, so please accept my apologies for the delay. However it took this long to get enough responses.

My objective going into this was to determine the market potential for a home-based specific time management course. For that reason can’t share the results of those questions at this time. However the most interesting results came from questions I’m happy to share.

Total responses: 92 (It took me a lot of tweets, e-mails, LinkedIn posts and everything else I could think of to get this many).

Here are the questions:

What are the two major sources of frustration and stress that keep you from being as productive as you would like to be?

Distractions and Interruptions 56%
Loneliness 17%
Telephone calls 15%
Waiting for others 9%
Everything else 3%

This is the last time I ask an open question like this. It took a while and some judgment calls to boil it down to this.

Frankly I was surprised by this. You’d think that someone who works alone would be less distracted, but the numbers speak for themselves. I must point out that many respondents indicated that children and other family members and pets are major sources of interruptions.

On average how many hours do you work in your home office per week?

0-10 5.6%
11-20 22.2%
21-30 33.3%
31-40 11.1%
41-50 22.2%
51-60 5.6%
60+ 0

Again I was a bit surprised. I expected a much higher percent in the 31-40 and 41-50 range. But that’s why we do surveys. Had I phrased the question differently, like “how many hours do work each week (taking into account time with customers and travel)”, the numbers could (and probably would) have been very different.

What tools do you currently use to manage your time? Choose all that apply?

Software (Outlook, Lotus Notes etc.) 82%
Paper-based planner 35%
Smartphone 65%
Web based service 29%
PDA 18%
None 0% (this was encouraging)

It probably would have been best to limit this question to one choice, like “what is your most used tool?” But I asked it this way to learn the to help craft a curriculum. And for that purpose it was quite helpful.

The high percentage using software and smartphones was probably skewed because the survey requests were delivered online; hence targeting an audience predisposed to using technology.

Which best describes you?

Business Owner with Staff 1%
Self Employed – Solo 82%
Employee 7%

Which best describes your business/profession?

Consulting 47%
Sales 23%
Service Business 24%
Online Business 6%

(The question also included options for legal and financial but each received zero responses)

So these are the totally unscientific results. I hope your find them useful. There were quite valuable to me.

If you have any thoughts or ideas about how to create better surveys I am all ears.