Survey reveals the top things people would do with extra time on their hands

For the “What Would You Do With More Time?” survey 2,772 employees living in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the U.K., and the U..S. were surveyed.

Whether you had the opportunity to work less, or the hours in the day just magically expanded, everyone has had the opportunity to daydream about what they would do with more time.

For the “What Would You Do With More Time?” survey by the Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated and Future Workplace, 2,772 employees living in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Mexico, the U.K., and the U.S. were surveyed.


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The top five things people would do with more time:

  1. Spend time with family (44%)
  2. Travel (43%)
  3. Exercise (33%)
  4. Spend time with friends (30%)
  5. Pursue hobbies (29%)

Other findings

  • Of course, nearly a third (27%) wanted to sleep more. Interestingly, workers in the U.S. craved more sleep (33%) than any other country surveyed, and workers in India wanted it the least – a mere 16% voted for more snoozing with their extra time.
  • Mexican workers are apparently bookworms: they were the only workers who had “read more” in their top five.
  • 62% of all workers responded that their job gave them the flexibility to have work-life balance

But what if you had more time … at work?

  • Personal development, like learning new skills, was the top choice for both employees (44%) and managers (40%) worldwide.
  • By country, India led the way in desiring personal development skills by 66%, followed by the U.K. by 49% and Australia by 47%.
  • Both employers (23%) and managers (27%) wish they could spend more time on long-term, important projects
  • 23% of employees wish they had more time to innovate, brainstorm new ideas, or invent a better way of doing things
  • French workers are naughty: 25% of them would spend their extra time at work looking for a new job.

Given that there’s never enough time, especially extra time, how do you balance work and leisure? Dan Schawbel, Future Institute researcher, says it’s not exactly about seeking balance, but integration.

“Workers worldwide clearly see the benefit to stay relevant in their jobs by investing time in training, yet also desire more time with their family, to travel, and get fit,” said Dan Schawbel, bestselling author and research director of the Future Workplace. “Instead of trying to have a balanced lifestyle, which is especially difficult in today’s highly connected, technology-driven world, workers should seek integration, ensuring they allocate time to their biggest professional and personal priorities each day. There’s more of a need today to work smarter and be more efficient to free up time to invest in things that matter most, inside and outside of work.”


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Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.