How Do You Stack Up Against the Average Worker in America?

I recently read a post at Dream Jobs Dialog about the results of a productivity survey by Microsoft.

Since many of my readers, like me, are freelancers and work from home, I thought it would be interesting to look at how homeworkers/freelancers compare to employees in productivity.

How do you stack up against the average worker in America?

  • Employees work an average of 45 hours a week and consider 16 of those hours (more than a third) unproductive.
    • It’s harder for those of us who work from home to say how many hours we “work.” I’m at my computer more than 45 hours a week, but that includes 5 to 10 hours of volunteer work for my church, a few hours on banking and financial recordkeeping (which is part business and part personal), and 5 to 8 hours on my blog (which is purely for fun). I even do my daily devotional and Bible reading on the computer. Work time includes 20 to 25 hours on e-mail, Internet, phone calls, and administrative tasks and about 20 to 25 hours on billable work.
    • Some of the e-mail/administrative time is wasted (and some of the e-mails are personal), but I think most of the time is productive, not always in producing income, but at least in supporting money-making activities or keeping me informed. For example, I just scroll through my list of 150+ feeds, click on the ones that are updated, skim the title and opening paragraph, and click off immediately if the topic isn’t relevant for me. I take the time to read (and sometimes comment) only if the topic is really interesting.
  • Average time spent in meetings is 5.5 hours per week, and most workers think meetings are unproductive.
    • Meetings are rare for me—occasionally a client comes to my office to meet to discuss a project, but generally my business is conducted via e-mail and phone.
  • Workers receive an average of 56 e-mails per day.
    • According to Eudora statistics, I receive an average of 163 e-mails per day.
    • Between the spam filters on the server and in Eudora, I get few spam messages. Many of the messages are newsletters or posts from e-mail list subscriptions for professional organizations. About 25 to 40 are from clients or prospective clients.

Leave a comment and share how you stack up to the average worker. Writers and other freelancers, I’d especially like to hear how much of your work time is billable and how much is spent on other essential work that doesn’t produce direct income (administration, marketing, and other related tasks).

[tags]work, writing, freelance[/tags]

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