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What are Remote Workers Distracted by When WFH-ing

Jul 23, 2021
What are Remote Workers Distracted by When WFH-ing

Most of us have had to work from home at one point in the last year and a half, and some of us are still doing so. Moreover, many companies now allow their employees to work from home indefinitely. And research suggests employees are loving it.


As the return-to-the-office date is still uncertain, many have turned their kitchens, beds, and corner desks into full-time offices. Now, working from home must have its perks and it is interesting to see how employees have adapted to it. An OfficeNeedle survey among 670 remote workers found out how they get on and what they get up to during office hours that is unrelated to work.


Mobile phones and social media remote workers’ biggest distractions


Aside from all the perks of working from home, employees are doomed by many other things in their households wanting their attention. When asked about things that distract them the most during office hours, 56% said mobile phones are their biggest distraction. Mobile phones are followed closely by social media (44%).


Most of them use Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube unrelated to work while working from home. However, it is not only social media that they use on their phones. Half of them also use instant messaging apps. Around 14% said that incoming calls distract them while working from home.


Half of the remote workers also tend to take phone calls and video calls unrelated to their jobs during their working hours. Also, 36% of them admit they play video games when they should be working instead.


A Good Amount Of Office Hours Spent On Distractions


Around 73% of all the survey participants use social media while working. A quarter of them (25%) do so for under 30 minutes, 28% for over an hour, and the rest are in between. Another half of them find time to watch Netflix and other on-demand streaming platforms. Out of them, 34% do so for over an hour and 10% between half an hour and an hour.


Out of all the remote workers who have stated that they play video games, 42% do so for more than 30 minutes and up to an hour. Also, another 42% do so for over one hour. When it comes to talking on the phone, the situation is a little different. Most of them spend under 30 minutes on this task unrelated to work.


Do They Cook, Shower, Do House Chores?


It is not only technology that poses a threat to employee productivity during office hours. Everyday distractions also include more mundane things, like cooking lunch, having a shower in the middle of the shift, or dedicating time to different house chores.


Almost half of the surveyed remote workers take showers when they should be working instead. For 29% of them, this takes under half an hour. Almost seven in 10 cook food during their shift, and 33% need under half an hour to do so.


Over 65% of people who took the survey are also dog parents so it does not surprise that 41% of them walk their dog during the shift every day. Around one-third of all the survey takers sometimes also go out shopping or grab a drink outside their house during office hours.


When it comes to house chores, almost eight in 10 remote workers do house chores while working from home. Twenty-six percent of them need between half an hour and a full hour for this activity.


How Are Parents Working From Home Getting On?


The majority of the remote workers who participated in the survey have children, i.e. 58% of them. Moreover, 31% take care of their children every day while working remotely. Out of those, 75% are mums.


Similarly, 13% of them take care of their children sometimes. Out of those, only 29% are male. On the other hand, 56% of all the parents who are working remotely do not have to take care of their children during office hours.


Conclusion

Despite being distracted by many things while working from home, statistics suggest remote workers are still thriving when it comes to productivity. While some may be using their office hours to procrastinate, others have found a good discipline that keeps them away from distractions.  As for all the stress that working from home causes us, there are ways to reduce them by focusing on self-care! While remote workers may sometimes feel a bit too relaxed at home and neglect working tasks, chances are they will also be more productive once they start with their duties.


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