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4 Distractions Remote Workers Struggle With

Mateja Vukomanovic

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4 Distractions Remote Workers Struggle With

Although many of us have been working from home in the past year, the truth is most of us are still struggling on keeping the right balance between work and life, and more.

Just like in an office, working from home also poses its challenges. They include struggling to stay motivated and productive while juggling many distractions.

1. People Who Live With Them

If you work from home and live alone, consider yourself lucky. The rest of us have to deal with house members who do not understand that working from home still means working. According to a recent study, 40% of remote workers struggle with being distracted by other house members while working from home. It may be hard trying to negotiate with other people in the household, but asking them to leave for better concentration on the work tasks might help.

However, if house members involve children, it will be a bit harder to avoid them. Some people working from home also have to take care of their children every day or at least from time to time. Unless they can get someone else to take care of them or babysit them, concentrating on work will be harder.

2. House Chores & Cooking Food

It might be hard to concentrate on work if socks are strewn around the floor and a heap of dishes lays unwashed in the sink. Using our houses as our offices as well can be both a blessing and a curse. On the bright side, there is no need to wake up at the crack of dawn and go through a morning commute. On the other hand, house space will be used for many things at once, mostly resulting in some kind of a mess.

The latest survey shows that 77% of people working from home do house chores during office hours. And while it can be a good short break from the corporate business, it can easily turn into a cleaning spree! Remote workers spend either under 30 minutes cleaning (34%), while 26% spend between half an hour and a full hour cleaning their homes.

Besides making sure the house is clean enough to allow working without constant distraction and looking around for things, cooking food is also a big distraction for remote workers. The majority of the survey-takers (67%) cook food during working hours when they should be working instead. Some remote workers even admit to going shopping or stepping out to grab a drink during working hours.

3. Smart Devices & Internet

While devices and the internet are both needed to even be able to telecommute in the first place, they are also a big distraction when working from home. Mobile phones are the biggest distraction when working from home for 56% of survey participants.

When it comes to the internet, the abundance of things that we are provided with can distract us from our work tasks. Social media, video games, phone calls, video calls, messaging apps, and more all ask for our immediate attention at all times.

It comes as no surprise that 36% of remote workers play video games, and 55% watch Netflix and other such providers when they are supposed to be working instead. Phone calls and video calls unrelated to work are also common distractions. Half of the remote workers who were polled say they spend some of their working time talking on the phone that has nothing to do with the job. Besides smartphones, video game consoles, PC, and laptops also allow us to explore the internet and neglect our work tasks.

4. Personal Hygiene & Self-Care

Self-care and personal hygiene include time to shower, work out, as well as many other activities that help better our bodies and souls. Busy work and life schedules sometimes mean that we have to shower when we should be working instead. Almost half of the remote workers take a shower during their shift from home (42%). Also, 32% of all survey participants said that they work out or train during their work-from-home shifts.

Can we count napping as self-care? Some would say yes! Thirty-three percent of the people working from home who took the survey admit that they nap when they should be working instead. Most of them spend between 30 minutes and an hour snoozing.

Final Thoughts

Staying motivated and productive can be hard when a person has a lot to think about and take care of while also trying to work from home. A little bit of self-discipline can help a long way, though. By keeping track of how much we get done during the shift, we can focus on areas where we need to improve. At the same time, we can also reward ourselves with some break time after we accomplish something. A perfect balance between work and life will help us lead a quality life while improving our productivity.

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Mateja Vukomanovic is a writer for OfficeNeedle, a website dedicated to business topics. She has a master’s degree in journalism and PR. She works remotely in different cities and countries and loves to spend her time outdoors.

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