To write my previous books, I relied on tons of interviews, lots of traditional library and online research, and one kick-ass genie.

For the next book, I’m adding a new technique: Quantitative survey research. In an effort to add some statistical meat to the book’s analytic bones, I’ve enlisted the wonderful folks at Qualtrics and devised a brief survey on people’s work activities and attitudes.

Thanks to a bunch of tweets on Tuesday, several thousand people have already completed the survey. But because we’re working hard to make sure we have a fully representative sample, and because the huge response has given us a chance to assemble even representative subgroups, we’re looking for more participants.

If you’re interested in adding your experiences and opinions to the new project, just go to this link. The survey begins with some demographic questions to ensure we have valid sample. Then it moves to a handful of questions about how you spend your time at work — and what you think of certain aspects of it.

People who’ve completed the survey have said they’ve enjoyed it. And, seriously, it takes just four minutes.

So if you’ve got 240 spare seconds, give it a try. It would be a huge help.

13 Responses to “Do you have 4 minutes to help me learn what people do all day at work?”

  1. anthony chang says:

    you need an “unknown” option for some of these. my org doesn’t tell me how much we make D: haha

  2. Dan Pink Dan Pink says:

    @anthony — Well, there is a “Not applicable” choice. That could work — if one has an expansive definition of “applicable.” Thanks for participating.

  3. Epeth says:

    Dear Mr. Pink,
    As an anthropologist, I have some concerns about your sampling design. Anyone can fill out this survey, and it’s anonymous. Anyone (with access to the internet!) can answer the questions anyway they want. Not only could people lie on the survey if they wanted to, but even if they tell the truth, despite your claims to the contrary you have no method of determining whether your results are a representative sample of people in the workplace. In fact, they almost certainly will not be. A representative sample generally (with some exceptions) requires defining your sampling frame a priori rather than allowing the participants to self-select. Self-selecting participants will usually have some strange thing in common that makes them un-representative: for instance, Twitter users may be somehow different than other people, in a way that will affect your survey results (e.g., the very people who are more likely to see your Twitter campaign are the same people who spend more time on social media at work). Thus, even if you collect demographic data to try and understand who your respondents are, your sample will still NOT be representative. Consequently, your attempt to add “statistical meat” to your book seems pretty flawed to me. Representative sampling is a trickier thing than most people think. I encourage you to think hard about who your so-called “representative sample” actually represents.
    Good luck….

    • Dan Pink Dan Pink says:

      @epeth — Thanks for the comment. Rest assured: This blog post is not the only way we’re assembling our sample. The people at Qualtrics, who specialize in survey design and implementation, will subsequently go back out into the field in a more surgical way to fill in any demographic holes we’re missing and come up with a final pool of respondents for analysis that is truly representative.

      As for people lying on the survey, you’re right. Nothing we can do about that. However, that’s true with telephone polls, on-the-street surveys, and just about any other approach that involves asking people questions.

  4. Guin says:

    Respond to emails. Respond to emails. Respond to emails. Run to the restroom. Respond to emails. Respond to emails. Respond to emails. Eat at desk while responding to emails. Respond to emails. Repeat.

  5. J says:

    “Tangible” is an odd word to choose in describing what I make, most of which resides purely in the digital realm. But I understood it to mean something real.

  6. Cross posted to linked in, facebook & twitter. As an HR professional, I am an internal service provider, for marketing, it’s all about safety first for my current employees and becoming an employer of choice for recruiting.

  7. Jess says:

    Regardless of using twitter, I would have found your survey… But… I couldn’t find my location… I had to select Central /South America as I am not in Canada nor the USA – could you please add Mexico?

    • Dan Pink Dan Pink says:

      @Jess — Thanks for taking time to complete the survey. Mexico is indeed listed as an option — though, unfortunately, we had to group it with Central and South America. The reason for this ungainliness: It’s Canada’s fault! We get an enormous about of blog and site traffic from Canada — and we needed to single out that country and separate it from the US. That left Mexico, where we don’t get an enormous amount of traffic, orphaned from its North American brothers. SOrry about that.

  8. Vince Fowler says:

    Hi Dan,

    survey completed and shared!

    I often ask similar questions about Sales – “What’s the one word that comes to mind when I say “Salesperson”?

    I also ask… what’s the one word that comes to mind when I say “Customer”

    I shared your work often. I can’t tell you how much your presentation on Ted (mechanical tasks vs. creative task… and compensation…) has completely changed my world. I actually understand why did and did not succeed in certain areas of my past.

    Thank you…

    Looking forward to having to having lunch with you one day!

    Vince

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