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Want more free time? Don't own a business

If you've been dreaming about self-employment as a way to have more control over your working life, don't assume owning a small business will translate to a shorter work week.

More than 30 percent of small-business owners report working an average of at least 10 hours a day, compared with only 19 percent of the general population, according to the monthly Discover Small Business Watch index.

Nearly half of small-business owners say they work on holidays, and 15 percent show up seven days a week, more than twice the number of nonbusiness owners.

Almost 60 percent define a "day off" as being available for calls and e-mail, working for a few hours or working all day at a remote location, the index reported. That's compared with 32 percent of the general population.

But what small-business owners might lose in personal time, they gain back in spousal understanding about work priorities. More than half of small-business owners reported that their spouse approved of them checking e-mail away from work, compared with 37 percent of nonbusiness owners.

The Discover Small Business Watch is based on a national random survey of 1,000 U.S. small-business owners and measures the relative economic confidence of businesses that employ fewer than five people.


What are you wearing?

If what you're wearing to work today was chosen on the basis of comfort rather than style, you're not alone. A recent Yahoo! Hot Jobs poll of workers and job recruiters found nearly half of U.S. workers prefer a pair of jeans, or similarly comfortable clothing for on-the-job wear.

Forty-two percent of men and 39 percent of women said they pull on casual clothing before they punch the clock. The popularity of low-key clothing is tied to the category of workplace, with 55 percent of those surveyed listing technology/telecommunications, manufacturing, customer service or health care as their profession.

While the khaki slacks and polo shirts of business casual were also found to be workplace staples for many employees, only 12 percent of male and 6 percent of female respondents said their work wear of choice is a suit.

More than half (53 percent) of those polled said their company doesn't have a dress code, so they are free to make their own decisions on what's work-world appropriate.

And 66 percent of those who said they are supposed to be following some kind of clothing guidelines indicated there are no negative repercussions for free-style dressing.

And forget the theory of "dressing like the boss" as a way to boost their careers. More than half (52 percent), said they don't think mimicking their manager's style of dress will help them climb the ladder.


Why were you late for work?

If you sneaked past your boss because you were late this morning, did you rehearse an excuse in case you got caught?

According to a spring 2007 survey by, 16 percent of workers turn up late at least once a week.

Top excuses: traffic woes (31 percent); sleeping through alarm clock (16 percent); difficulties getting kids ready for school/day care (8 percent).

A quarter of workers admit to making up an excuse for their tardiness because they didn't want to provide the true details.


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