We haven’t always been obsessed with time. It was only upon the arrival of the Industrial Revolution that clocks became relevant, as factories needed to coordinate hundreds of people and employ them to work in synchronicity.
As business leaders imposed clock time on the workforce, so too were ideas such as “time is money” enforced. Today, we’re all obsessed with time – time is the most common noun in the English language, followed by person, day, way and year. We often complain there’s not enough time, that we need to manage it better, and that we don’t know where it goes. It’s ironic that while it’s practically a badge of honor to exclaim that our lives are “too busy,” many also strive to achieve the principles of a four-hour workweek.
How much do you know about the concept of time? Here are 10 interesting facts revolving around how we spend our working days.
- What you think of as a day – how long it takes the Earth to rotate – isn’t 24 hours. It’s 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.2 seconds.
- Countries have experimented with changing how we measure time – for example, the Soviet Union tried to enforce five and six-day weeks between 1929 and 1931 (which not surprisingly failed and led to the seven-day week being reinstated in 1940), while France attempted to introduce a 10-hour clock after the French Revolution.
- Out of all the OECD countries, Mexico works the longest hours, followed by South Korea and Greece.
- On the flip side, a number of companies in Sweden are offering six-hour workdays, with the aim of encouraging people to get more done in a shorter amount of time.
- A Robert Half publication shows that an average employee wastes 8 hours per week on non-work-related activities. The productivity killer activities include using personal devices, checking overwhelming emails, frequent use of social media, and other personal tasks.
- Recent research called State of Mobile in 2022 revealed that an average person spends 4.8 hours per day on mobile apps which is around one-third of their waking hours.
- Worldwide, the median number of paid vacation time available to workers is under 25 days a year. Collectively, workers leave about 20 percent of this available time off unused.
- According to a recent data from Online travel guidance platform Tripadvisor, 67% of Americans preferred summers (June-August) for planning vacations during 2021, which makes it the busiest vacation season.
- Everyone says “time flies when you’re having fun,” but a study showed that people felt like time passed more slowly when listening to music they enjoyed more – most likely because people pay more attention to things they enjoy, which causes a slowdown in time perception.
- Like all good things, will the time come to an end? The theory of relativity suggests that the universe will expand infinitely, however some theoretical physicists predict that time will end within the next four billion years.
At Replicon, we see time as one of the important and underutilized assets for everybody and every business. By harnessing time effectively – through effective approaches in capturing, managing, and optimizing how we work, companies can drive significant value back to the business. Whether the value is recognized through improved efficiencies, increased profit margins, or simply a more balanced and stress-free day, a central focus on time is key.