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A new CareerBuilder survey conducted among more than 2,400 U.S. employers and more than 3,900 U.S. workers between November 15 and December 2, 2010 revealed that three-in-ten (30 percent) companies said they cut back on business travel in 2010. Of those companies, more than one-third (37 percent) said it negatively affected their business.

When asked how fewer business trips affected their bottom lines, companies reported the following:

•        Less effective internal communication – 12 percent

•        Fewer sales – 11 percent

•        Less effective execution on internal business initiatives – 10 percent

•        Less customer loyalty – 8 percent

Regarding business travel in 2011, the majority of companies (77 percent) report that business travel levels will stay the same as last year. Eleven percent said they will their companies will take more business trips this year, while 13 percent said business travel will decrease.

In an effort to keep a close eye on travel budgets, nearly one-third (32 percent) of companies said they have placed specific restrictions on business travel for employees since the recession, asking them to fly coach, lowering entertainment budgets, and having them only travel domestically.

Web conferencing is another way companies are keeping business travel budgets in check. Forty-two percent of companies said they rely more on phone/Web conferencing now to conduct business with clients, with 31 percent saying they get just as much out of virtual meetings as face-to-face meetings.

The majority of workers (68 percent) surveyed said they never travel for business, while 6 percent said they travel every other week or more. Five percent said they travel every other month. In addition, 19 percent of those who travel for business said the amount they travel negatively affects their home life.

And here’s the funniest part of the story.

When asked what most unusual experience they’ve had on a business trip, respondents reported the following:

•        Woman next to me asked me for a drink from my water bottle.

•        Our plane was stormed by the Columbian military who thought there was a drug lord on board.

•        A client mooned the plane.

•        A naked guy tried getting in my cab in Indonesia.

•        A drunken passenger next to me insisted my headphones were a bomb.

•        U.S. marshals arrested a passenger when the plane landed.

•        A guy next to me had a carry-on bag filled with candy, which he kept offering me over and over and over again.

•        A woman gave birth on the flight.

•        After waking up, I accidentally walked into the hotel’s hallway instead of the restroom in my underwear. Got locked out and could be viewed by the elevator which was all glass windows.

•        Manager punched a co-worker on the plane.

•        Fell asleep in the airplane restroom.

The last one desperately needs the power of slow. Next time, take the train!

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 2,482 U.S. employers and 3,910 U.S. employees (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over between November 15 and December 2, 2010 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With pure probability samples of 2,482 and 3,910 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.97 and +/- 1.57 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

 

About CareerBuilder®

CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset – their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 23 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 32 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

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According to a recent HealthyWomen’s survey of 1000 women, conducted by Harris Interactive, women’s daily time-crunched “pain points” are very much in line with what I discovered in my own research for The Power of Slow. Although I didn’t separate men and women’s time demands, this survey’s findings show our specific time challenges. Give it a read and let me know if you agree or not. Your voice counts!

The survey revealed that women’s busiest hours are in the early morning and early evening — very closely connected to the work day.  The survey also found that the number one activity that takes time away from women is domestic chores. As I traipse up and down three flights of stairs to hang, fold, iron and put away laundry, I couldn’t agree more!

These findings affirm that, despite women taking on greater responsibilities outside the home, they are still very much constrained by household roles. Fortunately, they are also finding novel strategies to cope.

I had a brief phone chat with HealthyWomen’s executive director, Beth Battaglino Cahill, a nurse and expert on women’s health and lifestyle issues. She spoke about authenticity in the workplace and how important it is to show your human side. “We have to reprogram ourselves to shut dow the computer and focus on one thing at a time.” She advises women to utilize the time in the car to actually talk to your kids instead of tuning into your handheld device. She also suggests taking the all-elusive ‘me time’. “Taking care of yourself makes you a better person,” she said.

Similar to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual American Time Use Survey, the HealthyWomen survey revealed how women are spending their time…and how they wish they could:

~Women are doing more than ever.  They are working outside the home, yet are still spending significant time on domestic chores (49%) and paying bills or running errands (47%). Almost a quarter of women (23%) said that their time-draining activities included personal communications chores such as making phone calls, texting and emailing.

~Younger women (ages 18-34) have different time burdens.  They were more likely than those over 35 to cite communicating with others through phone calls, texts and email as an activity that keeps them from doing what they want to do.  Younger women also are much more likely to say that personal hygiene takes up too much time.

~Women would rather be spending their time on leisure pursuits or with friends and family.  When asked what they would do if they had more time, the majority of women (65%) would use it for entertainment, such as reading, watching TV and using the Internet. More than half of the women surveyed said they would spend time with friends or family (54%).  Younger women wanted more “me time” and were more likely to say that they would spend time ‘doing nothing’ or sleeping.

One thing the survey highlighted was the notion of ‘saving time by multitasking,” something I found to be misleading. Women need to be honest with themselves that they can’t be, do and react to all things at all times. However, prioritizing, asking for help and delegating are powerful solutions to the increasing demands on our time.

~To get through their to-do list, women are doing chores during commercial breaks and taking public transportation so they can use their commute time to catch up on reading.  Many women find it difficult to prioritize their own needs – but some are finding success by setting personal boundaries, limiting their time on the phone or asking friends for help running errands.  A little bit of support goes a long way in saving time!

 

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Benjamin Franklin meant well. He advised his tradesmen audience in the aptly worded „Advice to a Young Tradesman”  that time is money. In his day a person of trade, well, traded his time for the money he earned. In many cases today people think they still do that as well. But what they are really doing is spending a lot more time thinking about work than they are paid to do. Thanks in large part to technological advances, work has seeped into many aspects of our lives. So while we’re swinging our child on the swings, we’re solving that problem at work in our heads or on our cell phones. Many times you will see people ceaselessly thumbing their BlackBerries at coffee shops during ‘leisure time’. In today’s world, time is not money, my friend. Time is time and money is money.

In the world of slow, time does not equal money. Instead, time equals your existence.

The truth of the matter is ‘the time is money’ adage has gotten us into a lot more trouble than we realize. Because we live our lives based on the misleading premise that time is money, we attempt to do more in less time. We begin to confuse activity with productivity, as if the ‘doing’ will grant us ‘being’. Inadvertantly, we hop on the hamster wheel, running as fast as we can with a competitive mentality about the clock and what it supposedly represents.We have a negative relationship with time that gives us a sense of time starvation instead of abundance. Even our precious vacation time is not immune from the time-money equation.

According to expedia.com’s latest International Vacation Deprivation Survey conducted by Harris Interactive in April 2010, nearly one-third of the respondents admitted to engaging in work-related while on vacation. The trend seems to be increasing. In 2010 30% reported that they check work email or voicemail while vacationing as opposed to just 24% in 2009.

If you love what you do and you are not stressed by it, that’s one thing. But if you feel you can never disengage from your work to regenerate, chances are you need to entertain the idea of a lifestyle change. As this slide show proves, you needn’t worry about when you will ‘get there’. You’ve already arrived. And yes, time abundance can be yours.

Your body will tell you if you’re on the right track. Have you ever wondered why you feel so much better while on vacation? Not only is your stress level reduced, but you also tend to engage in more leisurely dining and longer sleep. Your body is a wonderful barometer for whether or not your pace of life is working for you. Inject some slow into your summer routine and see where it leads you. It might just take you off the beaten track. Take it from me, a recovering speedaholic. The road less traveled is a great place to be!

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