Specialized Recruitment and Consulting in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Friday, October 29, 2010

If you can spare a second, blame your smartphone!

As the weekend approaches and the Monday to Friday workers are ready for a much deserved weekend, a report was released today that says an astounding 57% of respondents to a Harris/Decima survey said they feel their schedules are busier now than they were 5 years ago.

The study goes on to blame technology for this. Things like smartphones and social networking are demanding time and that time has got to come from somewhere!

Here is an article on the survey from Postmedia - take a second to read it if you have the time;

Technology blamed for lack of free time

Growing use of smartphones, social networking becoming an addiction, poll finds

If you can spare a moment, consider this: Canadians say demands on their time have grown in recent years, and experts are putting much of the blame on recent technological trends such as smartphones and social networks.

Results of a Harris/Decima poll, commissioned by Scotiabank and released Thursday, says 57 per cent of Canadians find their schedules busier than they were five years ago.

Those who study such matters say much of this is the result of more time devoted to technology such as BlackBerrys, iPhones, and online social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.

While a lot of this activity comes directly from demands of one's employer, Torontobased life coach Joshua Zuchter said much of it is also a matter of personal choice.

"We've actually, to a degree, become addicted to communicating instead of taking pauses or rests or reflection time," he said. "So even when people actually want to take breaks, when they start to even contemplate it, it becomes uncomfortable because they're so used to revving at a high speed."

More than 60 per cent of survey respondents said they would be "much better off" with an extra hour of free time each day. Commenting on this part of the survey, Zuchter said: "I truly believe that if they had an extra hour, they would use that to do even more texting."

Randall Craig, a Torontobased author and consultant on work-life balance issues, also talked about how newer technology has added to people's time pressures.

"There's a lot of people who check their BlackBerry before they go to bed," he said. "They check it before they go into the office first thing in the morning. They take it with them on vacation."

Whereas reading the newspaper was more common a generation ago, Craig said people these days, people are more likely to be on the Internet, not only receiving content, but also contributing to it.

"Engagement takes time, and that time's got to come from somewhere," he said.

The survey showed young adults feel the most time pressures with 74 per cent of respondents aged 25 to 34 saying their time commitments have risen in the last five years, and 78 per cent of those between 35 and 44 answering this way.

Craig attributed part of this to the fact people in these age groups are in a "sandwich generation" in which they are likely to feel the family pressures of having to take care of children, aging parents or both.

Zuchter said life during these ages is among the most stressful -- and has been historically -- because it is when demands at work and at home tend to be at their highest.

He added that people in their 20s through to their 40s are also the most likely to be spending a lot of time on smartphones.

When people were asked in the survey what they would do with an extra hour of time each day, the most popular response was to spend it with family and friends, an answer cited by 70 per cent of those polled. Other popular responses in a multi-choice question included: exercise, cited by 51 per cent; read, 49 per cent; and nap, 37 per cent.

The survey also showed that 53 per cent of respondents would like to find more productive uses for some of their idle time. The Harris/Decima survey of 1,007 Canadians was conducted in May by telephone. The results are considered representative of the population within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Technology+blamed+lack+free+time/3744670/story.html#ixzz13n2tP7hN


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