SURVEY SAYS: If You Had an Extra Hour…

August 4, 2014 ( – Last week, we covered a survey that found 88% of respondents work more than 40 hours per week.

I asked NewsDash readers if they are among that 88%, and what they would do with an extra hour of time each day?

More than two-thirds (67.6%) of responding readers indicated they do spend more than 40 hours per week on work-related activities, while 8.5% reported they do not. The remaining 23.9% said they work more than 40 hours in some weeks, but not all.

Pursuing a hobby (i.e. cooking, painting, gardening, biking) was the most popular (18.3%) response for how respondents would MOST like to spend their time if they had an extra hour daily. The same percentage of respondents selected “other,” with reading being the primary response within that choice. Many of those who chose “other” expressed that they could not pick just one activity, while a number listed spending time with pets.

Spending time with family (16.9%) was the second most selected activity on the list, followed by exercising (15.5%), sleeping/just relaxing (12.7%), and cleaning house/yard (9.9%). Nearly 3% each said they would most like to spend the extra hour with friends or running errands. The remaining respondents (1.4%) each said they would most like to spend that time connected to media (i.e., TV) or technology (i.e., computer or iPod), or working.

No readers indicated they would most like to take a class/go back to school, talk on the phone, work on home improvements, do charity/volunteer work or do religious/spiritual activities.

In verbatim comments, readers shared more about how they would spend an extra hour each day. Some lamented that extra hours working is hard to get away from, while others advised that people should rethink giving so much time to work. One commenter’s words rang so true to me, “Time is like money. People tend to spend as much as they have.” But, Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “If I consistently ‘worked’ more than 40 hours a week and I had an extra hour a day I would likely spend it on finding a new job.”

Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey!


Somehow, even though the house is completely unoccupied between 8am and 6pm, we manage to create a week’s worth of clutter. And we don't even have kids yet!

Thank goodness for bosses who understand the need to be flexible about work hours and who appreciate the quality of work over the quantity of work!

if I had an extra hour, I 'd have time to complete this survey (and the other surveys,...)

It was a toss-up between "Spending time with family" and "Sleeping/just relaxing". Can I just say sleeping with my husband?

I learned early in my career that extra hours are sometimes necessary, but rarely valued by employers. I have made it a point to avoid them as much as possible to provide more time with my family.

It would probably just get gobbled up by the never ending list of "To Do's" in both work and personal life. 🙁

We have had several leadership changes in the last 3 years. I used to be able to leave work early enough to fit in a long walk with my husband. I have since added 2-3 hours to my daily work day and our walk has completely disappeared. I would love to get that time back. (Not sure whether to choose exercising or spending time with family as this walk served both purposes.)

Time is like money. People tend to spend as much as they have. I've always been a full time employee while a mother. Thought I'd have so much more time when they would be launched. Not so, sadly.

I used to work more than 40 hours a week...then I got smart. I joined a carpool. So not only do I leave work on time, I also save $ on gas. It's a WIN-WIN!!

An eight hour day that included a real break or two is a very, very distant memory. I force myself to take a lunch break and either walk or read something for pleasure for at least 20 minutes to give my mind and body a break.

I am of the generation that you had to work more than 40 to get ahead. Now that I am close to retirement, I almost regret doing that because you can't get that time back and your job is NOT your life. I believe in working hard, but I don't believe that your job comes before everything else. Took me a while to figure that out.

I sometimes think I could stay here 24 hours and never get caught up. I have to remind myself - something my husband has said to me - if you died tomorrow, they'd say - oh, isn't that awful and go on. It's true, too.

I used to routinely work 50-60 hours a week and on holidays because we were so short-staffed and I couldn't in good conscience tell employees your payroll and benefits will have to wait, I'm going home. When they threw a company merger which requires an enormous amount of planning and work into the mix I finally put my foot down and amazingly they found a way to hire another person (one of those that actually does work) in Corporate HR!

Verbatim (cont.)

If I consistently "worked" more than 40 hours a week and I had an extra hour a day I would likely spend it on finding a new job.

I am very lucky in my current position that I rarely have to put in more than 40 hours per week. That coupled with a 5 mile commute make it difficult to even consider changing positions. Being able to be sitting on my patio with a glass of wine by 4:45 is PRICELESS!

I'm sure if I had an extra hour in the day, work would find a way to fill it.

I would love to have an extra hour to read ( without taking away from my exercise routine or my other activities) But more important without having to put in more hours at work the next day or the next month to get caught up.

I dream of having extra time to fit in activities that I want to do rather than have to do.

Being an empty-nester, it is the dog who suffers from my long hours at work. That extra hour would be spent with him - with no cell phone or iPad in sight.

Wow, with an hour a day, I could have a clean house, read the latest book, and finish that afghan I started last winter.

If I could get my household and yard stuff done during the week, I could get my weekends back!

My company does not require me to do overtime, but sometimes (when you are working on a project) it is just easier to stay and complete it than leaving it for the next day.

An extra hr/day, frankly, I don't have time to think about it. Oh, that would do nicely.

What I think I'd do with the extra hour and what I'd actually do are probably two different things. I'd like to think I'd use them productively; exercise, hobby etc. What I'd probably do is watch bad TV.

I enjoy my work so it is not hard to do the time and being goal oriented, I like to complete a task and that feels good, so it is worth the time.

I telecommute most days and work only 4 days / week. The extra time each day is invaluable in keeping up at home.


NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.
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