UK ‘home workers are easily distracted’

Many home workers prop themselves up on cushions or even in bed. Picture: Getty
Many home workers prop themselves up on cushions or even in bed. Picture: Getty
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BRITONS who work from home lose two and half hours over the course of a month due to distractions and accidents, says a new study.

The average office worker will work from home for five days of the month, the poll showed – but on average they will spill five drinks and delete ten ­important files over that period because they cannot get into “work mode”.

Two out of three home workers admitted they do not have a designated work space and almost a fifth fire up a laptop from their bed.

A quarter of those asked confessed they don’t get dressed on a work-from-home day, with 16 per cent admitting they don’t even make it to the shower.

A spokesman for Furniture at Work, which commissioned the study, said: “Having the option to work from home is an increasingly popular option for office-workers, and can be seen as a novelty.

“But the amount of distractions can have a negative effect on productivity, particularly when working somewhere we associate with relaxing such as the bed or sofa. No matter where you prefer to work, it’s worth bearing in mind that the office environment – particularly the modernised offices of today – have been designed to get the most out of our skills.”

The research showed the average British employee works from home around five days a month, and spends 30 minutes each day being distracted.

One in four said they have trouble getting into “work mode” when working from home, and lose track of their duties an average of four times a day.

Ten per cent admitted their makeshift workspace – often involving a bed and cushion set-up – causes them to be badly organised and “too relaxed”.

And there were other reasons to avoid working from home – one in ten said they feel “stir crazy” being cooped up in the house, while a fifth confessed to feeling out of the loop with other colleagues.

The average home-worker will spill five food or drink items over the course of a month, and delete up to ten important documents when in a domestic mindset.

Temptation to get household chores done was named as the top distraction.

Watching telelvision instead of working was also seen as a problem.

More than a fifth said playing with the dog or cat causes them to ignore work at home. Freely browsing Facebook and Twitter proved too easy for one in six.

The doorbell brings more distractions, as deliveries from the postman and warding off unexpected guests were other reasons home-workers become side-tracked, while 12 per cent said answering PPI and personal calls on the home phone mean items on their to-do list remain undone.

Only one in five said they have a real home office set up specifically for professional use.

The Furniture at Work spokesman said: “Specialist seating and a clear workspace are key for getting the most out of your work day.

“Rather than going home for a change of scene, thinking of ways to modernise your environment at the office means you will be less inclined to be distracted.”