What The World Needs Now? More Hours In A Day

Rarely Enough Time, Ipsos Global Survey Shows

New York, NY--If you can't fit all you need to get done into a day, you have plenty of company, according to Ipsos, the global marketing research firm. When Ipsos asked 5,000 people in 11 countries to agree or disagree, strongly or somewhat, with the statement, "There is never enough time in the day to get done what I want to get done", majorities in every area but two--urban Russia and urban China--agreed it describes their situation. Among the highlights of the Ipsos Global Express survey:
  • The most time-pressured are Italians (67% agree), urban Mexicans (66%), Americans (64%), and Spaniards (61%).
  • Asians placed lower on the time-crunch meter. Among urban Chinese, only 31% agreed that they can't ever find enough time to fit in everything, with close to 7 in 10 (68%) disagreeing. Urban Russians shared this less time-crunched frame of mind (31% agree, 65% disagree).
  • At least half of respondents in every country said they'd be willing to pay more for products and services that could make their lives easier.
Of the survey results, Ipsos global researcher Kiley Turner commented: "Increasingly, we are seeing the commoditization of time, especially in advanced economies--where free time virtually has a monetary value because of its scarcity. Buying products and services that are convenient and quick is in a way a payment for a desired outcome--a less jam-packed schedule that makes room for family and leisure activities." Ipsos also asked respondents to indicate the extent to which their lives are "so complicated that (they) feel stressed most of the time." Only in one country did a majority agree: Japan (55%). Close on their heels, though, were the other Asians surveyed: the urban Chinese (49% agree), South Koreans (47%), and Taiwanese (44%). In Europe, Britons and Germans are the least likely to admit to feeling stressed--at least three-quarters disagreed that our statement described their circumstances, and fewer than one-quarter agreed. Spaniards, Italians, and urban Russians are less relaxed, with over one-third agreeing that they feel stressed. Time-savers Worth Cost? Asked how willing they would be to "pay more for products and services that make [their] life easier," nearly 9 in 10 urban Chinese, 7 in 10 Taiwanese, and nearly two-thirds of South Koreans said they're willing to pay more. Also quite willing to pay a little extra for more efficient products and services are the Spaniards (69% agree). About 6 in 10 Americans and two-thirds of Britons indicated interest in products and services that, while a little more expensive, offer convenience. The Japanese fall close to the Americans, with 58% agreeing they'd be willing to pay more. Willingness to pay more for time-saving products and services falls gradually after this, with the lowest agreement level in urban Mexico (50%). Personal Time Highly Valued Despite the wide-ranging agreement that there could be a few more hours in the day, majorities everywhere reported "[Having} some time every day just for [them] and what [they] want to do." The highest levels of agreement were in Asia, where 9 in 10 Taiwanese and urban Chinese said they had personal time set aside every day. This luxury was claimed by substantially fewer in Japan (70%) and South Korea (63%). In Europe, relatively small proportions of Italians (65% agree) and Spaniards (53% agree) said they had some time set aside every day for self-fulfillment. Germans and Americans were more satisfied, with about three-quarters agreeing that they have some personal time every day; and urban Russians came closer to the 8 in 10 mark. About the same proportions of Britons and urban Mexicans - about 75% - said they made time for themselves each day. While Asians reported being relatively less stressed about time-crunch pressures, they also indicated a latent enthusiasm for products and services designed to make their lives easier--even if these cost more. Spaniards, meanwhile, show both that they are finding it challenging to fit everything into their day, and a willingness to pay more for convenience or efficiency. Italians, Americans, and urban Mexicans are feeling time-pressured, but in these countries there is more reservation about paying more for products and services that might help. In the U.K., this reservation recedes substantially. Germans were less enthusiastic about paying more for products and services positioned as "making life easier." They also seem relatively more relaxed than most other surveyed nationalities about coping with daily time pressures. Methodology The data presented in this release come from the most recent Ipsos Global Express conducted in China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States between the dates of May 13 and June 15, 2004. Samples in eight countries were national, while those in China, Mexico and Russia were urban-only. Telephone interviewing was used for the national samples, and in-person interviewing was used for the urban samples. Global Express typically involves sample sizes of 500 in each national market; 1,000 in the United States. This quarter, the four Western European countries--Germany, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom--had a sample size of 250 each. These reduced sample sizes provide for a margin of error of 177 6 percentage points. For the other countries with the samples of 500, the margin of error can be said to be within 177 4 percentage points, and for the United States sample of 1,000, it would be 177 3 percentage points. For further information on the survey methodology used for the Ipsos Global Express polling program, please contact Global Express Director Rob Breitkreuz. For more information on this press release, please contact: Dan Maceluch Vice-President, Ipsos North America 604.893.1635 About Ipsos Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and reactions of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world. Its member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting and modeling and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. Ipsos conducts polling on behalf of The Associated Press, the world's oldest and largest news organization, Business Week, and the young voters poll for Newsweek.com. In 2003, Ipsos generated $644.2 million U.S. in total revenues, of which 37% came from its North American operations. Visit www.ipsos-na.com to learn more about the company's services and capabilities in Canada and the U.S. Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris Premier Marchй, and is part of the SBF 120 and Next Prime Indices as well as eligible to the Deferred Settlement System (SRD). Euroclear code 7329, Reuters ISOS.LN, Bloomberg IPS FP

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