Time Use Survey (TUS)

Consumers
Households
Description

Will you help us get a correct picture of how Belgians spend their time?

You know better than anyone how you spend your time, and which tasks you perform in one day. But you are probably also curious about how others divide up their time.

  • How long do Belgians sleep?
  • Does the average Belgian work from 9 to 5?
  • What about the division of household tasks within a household?
  • Do young people read books less than their parents?
  • Does the active retired person exist or does this statement call for some nuance?

Who is conducting the survey?

Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, carries out a survey on this time use, in order to provide an objective insight into how you, and other Belgians, spend their day. Statbel has been working with the TOR research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (and its spin-off hbits) for this survey since 1999. They developed the software platform MOTUS, which specialises in time use research.

What does this survey mean for you?

Through your participation, you are contributing to objective scientific research. By gaining a better insight into the time use of the Belgian population, policy can also be better adapted to this knowledge.

We will also compensate you for the time you spend on the survey: if you complete the survey, you will receive 15 euros.

Want to know more?

More information about the survey, the anonymous processing of data, privacy and the software platform MOTUS can be found in the FAQ at the bottom of this page.

Interested?

Did you receive an invitation to participate in the survey? You can fill in the questionnaires and keep the diary via an app on your smartphone or tablet or via a web application on your computer, laptop or tablet. To participate, click on the link below. In the invitation letter you can find your username and password for logging on to the MOTUS software platform.

Click here to participate.

Frequently asked questions about this survey

You are one of the households randomly selected to participate in the Time Use Survey (TUS). The sample is composed in such a way as to ensure a good representativeness of the Belgian population.

The purpose is that, during a one week period, you keep track of your time use via a web application on your computer, laptop or tablet or via an app on your smartphone or tablet. We are working together with the TOR research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. They developed the software platform MOTUS that is used for this study.

We will compensate you for the time you spend on the survey: for each household member who completes the survey you will receive 15 euros.

The survey is important for the government to get an overview of how Belgians spend their time. The results are also used by universities and study services.

Based on the law on public statistics, Statbel may only use the information for statistical purposes, and not for auditing. All partners in our survey therefore only receive anonymous data. Nobody will know your personal answers.

Participation in the time use survey takes place entirely online. We are working together with the TOR research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. They developed the software platform MOTUS that is used for this study. You can fill in the questionnaires and keep the diary via a web application on your computer, laptop or tablet or via an app on your smartphone or tablet. Both systems are synchronised, which makes it possible to use both alternately.

More information can be found on the MOTUS website. In the invitation letter you can find your user name and password to log in. You will need to customise your password immediately.

If you have any questions or experience difficulties logging in, you can report them to the e-mail address TUS@economie.fgov.be or by calling the free number +32 (0) 800 120 33.

The time use survey is a voluntary survey. We will compensate you for the time you spend on the survey: for each household member who completes the survey you will receive 15 euros.

We ask you to report any refusal to participate and the reason why. You can report this to the e-mail address TUS@economie.fgov.be or by telephone on the free number +32 (0) 800 120 33. If we do not hear from you, we may send you a reminder.

The time use survey of Statbel takes place in different phases.

  1. The household reference person provides information about him/herself and his/her household members.
  2. The reference person answers some questions about the household.
    After the completion of this task, all household members aged 10 and over are invited to participate. Therefore, for each household member aged 10 and over, the reference person is asked to fill in an e-mail address. The invitation to participate is sent to the specified e-mail address.
  3. Everyone fills in a short questionnaire about their education, professional situation and general time allocation.
  4. Everyone keeps a time diary for 1 week.
  5. Everyone completes another short questionnaire about their general well-being.

After your participation, you will receive a letter by post in which you will be asked for more details to complete your payment.

You are one of the households that were randomly selected from the national register this year to participate in the Time Use Survey (TUS). The national register (formerly called the population register) is an administrative database containing all persons legally residing in Belgium. Statbel is legally empowered to use this database to recruit people for its surveys.

The sample is selected in such a way as to ensure a good representativeness of the Belgian population. We need all kinds of people and households to obtain a proper picture of the Belgian population. Young or old, living alone or in a large family, working or not ... everyone should have the opportunity to participate. Everyone counts.

The time use of your household is unique and valuable for the survey.

Yes, according to the law on public statistics, Statbel is only authorized to collect global and general information to compile statistics. This law explicitly prohibits to keep a personal file about you with your answers and/or to pass on your information to other public services. We may only disseminate global and anonymous figures.

Privacy is guaranteed. It means that:

  • Statbel communicates with its research partner the TOR research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel only via an anonymous key. Your personal data will not be passed on to third parties in any way.
  • Your names, addresses and e-mail addresses will be removed from the information obtained. The data we need to contact you and pay you are always kept separately from the answers to the questionnaires.
  • External research partners such as the European statistical office Eurostat, other public services and scientists receive only an aggregated answer file without names, addresses, e-mail addresses and also without dates of birth. Therefore they have no way of finding out who participated.

For additional information see https://statbel.fgov.be/privacy

MOTUS is a software platform developed by our research partner TOR of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. They have been specialising in time use research for years and have been our research partner for the European time use survey since 1999.

The platform they have developed for online surveys is outside Statbel. That is why you are also redirected to their web page. However, Statbel remains ultimately responsible for the survey. Privacy is therefore guaranteed. It means that:

  • Statbel communicates with its research partner the TOR research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel only via an anonymous key. Your personal data will not be passed on to third parties in any way.
  • Your names, addresses and e-mail addresses will be removed from the information obtained. The data we need to contact you and pay you are always kept separately from the answers to the questionnaires.
  • External research partners such as the European statistical office Eurostat, other public services and scientists receive only an aggregated answer file without names, addresses, e-mail addresses and also without dates of birth. They therefore have no way of finding out who participated.

For additional information see https://statbel.fgov.be/privacy

Participation in the time use survey is done preferably online via the software platform MOTUS, but it is possible to participate on paper as well. A paper copy of the diary and questionnaires is available in Dutch or French.

Request your paper copy (in Dutch or French only): by mail to TUS@economie.fgov.be or by phone on the toll-free number +32 (0) 800 120 33 (Choose option 3 "Surveys").

Purpose and brief description

The Time Use Survey is a survey on how Belgians organise their time. It is an important tool to describe the time use patterns of the population over a year.

The purpose of the survey is to create a general framework for the production of statistical information at national and European level on the time use of households, based on cross-sectional data (what, when, how, with whom) on the categories of their time use.

The time use survey was created thanks to a cooperation between the TOR research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the spin-off hbits and Statbel.

Did you receive an invitation to participate in the survey?

Click here to participate.