ON24 Survey: Work Vs. You (and Work Is Winning)

85% of Americans say work infringes on the personal time of American workers

 Nearly all Americans (94%) believe ‘bad behaviors’ occur among people travelling away from home to attend conventions and trade shows

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – August 21, 2012 – ON24, Inc., the leader in webcasting and virtual events, today announced the findings of its online survey of over 2,000 American adults, conducted by Harris Interactive.  The “Your Time, Your Life, Go Virtual” survey, which was based on ON24’s experience as the provider of virtual alternatives to business travel,
was divided into three components to examine attitudes on work, its impact on Americans’ lives, and the virtual alternatives available.  The results reveal the often-bizarre incidents that occur on business trips and the “bad behaviors” people believe occur while they’re away and illustrate why business travel is increasingly unpopular.

YOUR Time

The survey showed that fully 85% of Americans believe that work infringes on the personal time of American workers, and they say that long hours (55%) are the primary way this occurs, along with working weekends/overtime (54%), employers demanding more in a poor economy (49%), business calls or emails while not at work (49%), and their own too-easy access through smartphones and tablets (34%).

When asked about how much Americans value their time, a surprising trend emerged.  It turns out that Americans value the quality of their life more than the quantity of it.  A startling 33% said they would not be willing to do anything for one additional year of life.  Others were willing to make sacrifices if it meant they could gain one additional year of life, including:

  • Give up shaving forever (22%)
  • Quit their job (22%)
  • Give up television forever (18%)
  • Give up a winning lotto ticket (16%)
  • Give away a pet (16%)

YOUR Life

And one year of life can be lost quite easily in the business world.  In fact, just three 3-day conferences a year over the course of a 40-year career quickly add up to one full year of life spent on business travel, and this time away from home has impact.

The survey showed that 91% of Americans believe too much time away from home due to work has consequences, including 75% citing increased stress and a surprising 70% who say it can result in a failed marriage or relationship.  Other things that Americans said could result from too much time away from home due to work were health problems (63%), rebellious kids (54%) and increased probability of affairs (45%).  Interestingly, women were more likely to indicate the possibility of an increased probability of affairs than men (48% vs. 42%).

GO Virtual

The survey also looked into Americans’ thoughts on business travel and behaviors on-site at trade shows and conferences.  “We researched several true-life stories of business travel gone bad and asked Americans to rank which events they find most outrageous,” explained ON24 Chief Marketing Officer Denise Persson. The top answer:  checking into a hotel room that already has a large nude man asleep in your bed (38%), followed by:

  • Receiving an illicit drug delivery to your hotel room that you didn’t order (21%)
  • Getting food poisoning from an airport food counter (9%)
  • Being scolded by the TSA for wearing an underwire bra (6%)

Oddly, 4% of men reported being scolded by the TSA for wearing an underwire bra as the most outrageous.

But it turns out the situation can get even worse when you arrive at the convention itself.  Some 94% of Americans say “bad behaviors” occur among people travelling away from home to attend business trade shows and conventions, with 71% believing people drink too much alcohol.  Additional responses included:

  • Cheating on a spouse (66%)
  • Spending too much money (54%)
  • Eating fatty foods (53%)
  • Not sticking to exercise routine (43%)
  • Going to bed late (42%)
  • Taking illicit drugs (31%)

“These results illustrate that Americans believe their work-life balance is out of whack,” said Persson, “and that fuels their growing dislike for business travel, their resentment and their desire for control of their own lives and how they spend their time.   At ON24 we’re committed to providing virtual solutions that help travelers make the most out of their lives.  Because it’s your time, your life.  Go virtual!”

About ON24, Inc.

ON24, the virtual communications platform for the global enterprise, provides interactive, impactful cloud-based solutions that drive outstanding results. ON24 offers a broad and innovative product portfolio, including webcasting, virtual events and virtual environments, accessible from any device and supported by robust reporting and analytics. Applications for the ON24 communication platform include demand generation, partner enablement, training, product launches, virtual trade shows, company town hall meetings and user conferences. More than 700 organizations, including IBM, CA Technologies, Merck, Unilever, JPMorgan Chase, Deloitte, Credit Suisse, Ernst & Young, Amazon and New York Life, rely on ON24. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices throughout the world. For more information, visit http://www.ON24.com.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of ON24 from May 16-18, 2012, among 2,159 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and, therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Tricia Heinrich or Tom Carpenter.