Remote work, without a doubt, has its perks as well as its disadvantages. On one hand, no need for the morning or the afternoon rush-hour commute. On the other, there is a constant struggle of keeping private and business lives separate. In light of this, a recent poll found out which distractions remote workers struggle with daily while working from home.
Many of us have been ‘winging’ working from home for quite some time. And due to the uncertainty of when it will be safe to return to our offices, many businesses have started offering indefinite work-from-home positions.
While some of us may be lucky enough to design our own home office for productivity, others may not have the privilege. If you are a parent, have a pet at home, or other house members, chances are they are going to distract you at some point during your working hours, along with some other temptations.
4 Of The Biggest Distractions Remote Workers Struggle With
1. The Ever-Waiting House Chores
Both working at home and spending your after-work hours at home might entail even more house chores needing your attention at all times. As the same space is used to work in and relax in, some cooking and cleaning might have to be done while working.
Just under eight in 10 remote workers do house chores during their work-from-home shifts. Some take less than half an hour for cleaning, laundry, tidying up, while some need even over an hour to do so.
2. Mobile Phones
Identified by more than 50% of the remote workers who participated in the survey, there are plenty of reasons why mobile phones really are our biggest distraction while working. The omnipotence of this device allows us to do so much on it while escaping the dooming reality of working tasks awaiting our attention.
The availability of social media, entertainment, and instant messaging apps are only some of the reasons why mobile phones may keep us distracted from our tasks while working from home. Incoming calls also make that list, as half of the polled remote workers admit they spend time on phone and video calls during working hours that are unrelated to work.
3. Other House Members
This one also comes as no surprise. It is a familiar scene for (almost) everyone working from home to have to stop whatever they are doing and help other house members in need.
Around 40% of remote workers who were asked in the survey about their biggest distractions of working from home mentioned people they live with. Moreover, out of all the workers who do not live alone, more than half admit to having to help other house members in the middle of the shift while leaving their work aside.
Among other house members, children are the ones frequently needing help and tending. Around 60% of the surveyed remote workers are parents. One in three of those take care of their children during working hours from home every day, while around one in 10 does so only sometimes during their work.
4. On-Demand Streaming Services
Binge-watching a series always sounds like a tempting idea, even if it means neglecting work in the middle of the shift. Streaming services that allow us to watch series and films on demand, such as HBO Max, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video are frequently used by half of the surveyed workers from home.
Out of those who use these streaming services during working hours, 60% spend more than one hour of their shift enjoying the entertainment. On the other hand, 20% of them use these platforms for under half an hour, and 20% spend between half an hour and one hour of their working day on using them.
While there are many other ways people working from home can get distracted during their shift, there are also ways to try to minimize that. As most workers got used to working in the office, it might take some time to adjust to the different environment of working in the comfort of their own home.
However, research also suggests remote workers spend a lot of their time working hard from home. We witness how challenging it is to set boundaries between private and work life. With self-control on some distractions and negotiating peace with house members, it is still possible to stay productive while working from home.
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