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Time Scarcity a Misconception Among Adults in the UK

19 September 2013

The perception that most people in the UK do not have enough hours in the day is a myth. A recent survey of 2,000 adults conducted by Canadean Custom Solutions shows that Britons are not as time-scarce as they think. Whilst many people claim to lack time, findings show that this is the result of advances in home entertainment systems and time spent on leisure activities as opposed to work obligations.

When Canadean Custom Solutions asked respondents what they would do if they lost an hour in the week, 25% said that they would spend less time watching television. This shows how advancements in technology have led many adults to think that they do not have enough time. In reality, they are trying to fit in as much entertainment as possible. A total of 13% of adults surveyed also said that they would sacrifice an hour’s sleep if they lost an hour in the week. This shows that despite many reports that consumers are not having enough sleep, one in ten would sacrifice sleep if they had to, rather than leisure activities such as watching television.

In addition, 11% of respondents said that if they were to lose one hour in the week, they would work one hour less. This shows that while many people say that they work long hours, some are doing so by choice as opposed to obligation. The impact of the difficult economic climate has meant that more people feel concerned about job security and feel they need to spend as much time in the office as possible.

Emma Herbert, Research Manager at Canadean Custom Solutions states,

“Much of the reality regarding people feeling time-scarce is a myth and can be attributed to more time spent on leisure occasions, rather than working longer hours than before.  The increase of in-home entertainment options has had an impact on people’s perceptions of the amount of free-time available to them”.

Ms Herbert concludes,

“The research also shows that many people are working longer hours than they need to. This can be linked to job insecurity and the perception that working long hours and being seen as busy will increase their value in the workplace”.

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