Employees admit to more distractions when working from home

by HCA27 Nov 2012

Offering the option and freedom to work from home is becoming more commonplace, especially as more and more jobs move to be partly or entirely computer-based.

However, almost half of professionals (49%) who were recently surveyed admitted they actually encounter difficulties concentrating when working from their home office*.

The main distractions when working from home include:

  • children and family wanting attention (60%)
  • inability to access proper office equipment (28%)
  • the desire to complete household chores (26%)
  • the temptation to keep TV on as “company” (24%)
  • lack of proper work space (18%).

But before there's a race to ban all work from home arrangemets, it does give people more flexibility and control over how and when they work, and that’s a good thing, Wes Lenci, vice-president at Regus said. “But employers need to be conscious of the challenges these remote workers face, and be ready to provide them with alternate workplace options so employees can continue to be engaged, connected and motivated," he added.

Lenci suggests home workers consider the following guidelines to overall improve the work-at-home experience:

  • Create parameters: Set rules with family and friends, and let them know when you are not available. Most importantly, ensure they are aware of any scheduled conference calls in order to limit any background noises or interruptions, so clients don’t feel you’re working in an unprofessional environment.
  • Establish a routine: Set blocks of time for work and stick to the schedule. Do not turn on the television during your set working hours, and laundry can wait until after 5 p.m.
  • Keep lines of communication open: Maintaining regular contact with colleagues and managers will ensure status of projects and deadlines are understood by all. This means it will keep you motivated to stay ahead while working from home.

*533 professionals were surveyed by Regus, a provider of flexible work spaces.


  • by Mark Anderson 28/11/2012 2:41:32 PM

    I have spent the last 10 years working from home and I don't have an issue with any of the 'distractions' highlighted in the bullet points listed. I laughed out loud when I read the second to last point - keep TV on as company?!? They are obviously not working hard enough in the first place!!

    The guidelines suggested are very good and these are what I have kept in place, on an subconscious level, throughout - this is the only way you can guarantee you will get anything done and done well.

    I have found when I need to go back to an office environment, the distractions experienced are so frustrating. People talking incessantly to each from cubicle to cubicle. The weekly "time for cake"... the drop ins - people who don't have enough work to occupy themselves to go find other people who they think shouldn't be working harder than them... so let's chat.

    Give me working from home anytime, set up in an office environment (desk, printer, etc)... and not just using your laptop on the couch.

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