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Pulse Survey

Business Leaders and Productivity

This is a high-level summary of our key findings from the May 2017 Small Business Pulse Survey. This survey concentrated on Business Leaders and Productivity. The survey was measured on how entrepreneurs spend their workweek, including how they stay productive and where they’re losing time.

Key Insights of the Survey

  • 84% of business owners are working over 40 hours per week, and 1 in every 10 feels continuously overwhelmed by their responsibilities.
  • The average business owner reports having only 1.5 hours of uninterrupted, high productive time each day.
  • Business owners surveyed cite poor time management as the #1 productivity killer for their business.
  • Most business owners report spending most of their time on email, though only 9% feel it’s the most important use of their time.
  • A third of those surveyed agreed that the best strategy for improving productivity would be scheduling finite time for responding to email.
  • Following email, business owners report losing considerable time to in-person meetings and phone/video conference calls — yet only 4% of business owners believe those meetings are 100% productive.
  • 81% of respondents feel most productive in the morning.
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  • 87% of business owners prefer getting the most important tasks out of the way first thing.
  • While the average business owner feels most productive from the office, nearly a third of the business owners surveyed, report getting the most work done from their home office.
  • 86% of entrepreneurs believe company culture helps their productivity.
  • 46% of business owners believe that the productivity of their employees reflects their employees, while 47% of business owners believe it’s a reflection of themselves as leaders.
  • Entrepreneurs surveyed believe the best way to improve productivity across their business is better communication (56%).
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