Managers Use 'Sleepworking' To Make Business, Tech Decisions

The Internet survey found that 51% dream about their work and nearly 70% of those put their "work dreams" into action when they wake up.

W. David Gardner, Contributor

January 3, 2008

2 Min Read

"Sleep on it" is not just an admonition, but useful advice for small-business owners and managers struggling to sort out how to better run their businesses, including the use of new technology, according to a survey released Thursday by Staples.

Some 85% of the 300-plus small-business people interviewed for the survey indicated they were grappling with decisions on whether to incorporate new media such as blogs, podcasts, and virtual meeting software and services in their business activities.

The Internet survey found that 51% "sleepwork," or dream about their work, and nearly 70% of those who do sleepwork put their "work dreams" into action when they wake up.

The respondents indicated that sleepworking will help them make decisions on the rapidly emerging "new media" offerings and whether their implementation could be beneficial to their firms' operation.

"Our customers often tell us there just aren't enough hours in the day, so it's understandable that business activity is invading sleep time," said John Giusti, VP of small business marketing at Staples, in a statement.

The idea that problems are often solved during sleep has been gaining credence in recent years. A recent study carried out at the University of Amsterdam found that complex decisions can often best be worked out by letting the unconscious mind think things out before action is implemented.

The Second Annual Staples National Small Business Survey also found that nearly 40% of the survey respondents said their best business ideas occurred while they were driving. In addition, the survey produced information that indicated that business managers were working too hard: Nearly 40% said they couldn't remember when they last took a vacation.

The survey was conducted for Staples by Decision Analyst and all respondents were members of American Consumer Opinion online panel.

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