Hot Stuff

.Time-Stressed Consumers?

Can't find enough time to eat, let alone pick up the dry-cleaning, take the dog to the vet, get your tires rotated, and spend quality time with your family? We didn't think so, especially when you consider everyone is working harder and longer-an extra month more per year, to be exact-and, says Juliet Schor, author of The Overworked American (Basic Books), 58.5 million workers are traveling more than 45 minutes just to get to their jobs. When 88 percent of us say we work very hard, according to the Families and Work Institute (FWI), it's no revelation our society could be pegged "time-stressed."

And, as FWI reports, we do experience a negative spillover from work. For instance, 26 percent of us feel emotionally drained by our jobs, 28 percent don't have the energy to do things with family or others, and 36 percent just feel used up at the end of the day. This reality leads consumers to welcome with weary arms business services geared toward assisting with the daily chores and errands that devilishly rob us of our so-called free time. Rather than give up completely, or hook up a caffeine IV, today's consumers call upon the personal services industry to help them reclaim their sanity. In the process, they're stoking plenty of business opportunities-from concierge services and massage therapy to personal chefs-making any business that reintroduces the forgotten concept of relaxation a sure shot for the 2000.

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This article was originally published in the December 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Hot Stuff.

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