What we now know about distractions when home working


James Brown, Director – Protect Your Bubble

A new survey* of over 2,000 UK employees* reveals more than 85 percent of people are more likely to engage in non-work-related activities while remote working.

As more companies introduce long-term remote working policies post-COVID-19, trust in the workplace has never been so important. Research shows employees in high-trust organisations are better at collaborating and more productive. But can employers maintain that trust in a remote working environment?

Our findings suggest productivity during remote working, could be declining, as only 15 percent say they haven’t engaged in non-work-related activities while working from home during their normal working hours.

Brighton (44%), Glasgow (43%) and Leeds (41%) are the most addicted to checking their social media accounts, during working hours, achieving higher than the UK average of 36.5 percent.Housework is the most common non-work-related activity with nearly 40 percent of respondents admitting to cleaning their homes during work hours. Exploring social media (37%) follows closely in second place, with online shopping (36%) cooking (36%) and watching TV (36%) taking joint third place.

Belfast (53%), London (42%) and Cardiff (38%) are the three capitals which most favour cooking during work hours.

Shockingly, almost 1 in 5 respondents admit to sleeping on the job. Plymouth employees are the worst, with almost 30 percent admitting to catching z’s throughout their working hours.

However, dozing off may not be such a bad thing, over 30 percent of respondents who admitted to sleeping during working hours said they felt more productive. In fact, research shows short 20 minute naps are more effective than drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee or tea for pick-me-ups.

Those in the 55+ demographic are the most focussed with over 25 percent stating they don’t engage in non-work-related activities during the working day. At the other end of the scale, a staggering 96 percent of 16-24-year olds admit to participating in other pursuits, while they are supposed to be working.

Respondents in the Arts and Culture industry are some of the least happy in their current job roles. With 15 percent admitting to searching for a new job in their current occupation. The healthcare and Architecture, engineering and building industries has some of the most satisfied employees, with only 6.7 percent and 7.7 percent of respondents admit searching for a new job respectively.

On average, Northern Irish workers struggle to finish work on time when home working, with over a third working between 1-4 hours longer than usual. On the other hand, over 46 percent of London employees admit to working between 1-5 fewer hours than normal.

That said, Londoners could be onto something as it was recently announced MPs are pushing for shorter working weeks following the coronavirus pandemic.

James Brown, Director at Protect Your Bubble commented:It’s really interesting to see the difference in non-work-related activities UK employees engage in during working hours and the wide array of things people get up to, when they are supposed to be working!

 Technology is essential for UK employees to continue home working successfully. So, it’s important employees ensure their equipment is well-covered with the likes of gadget insurance or mechanical breakdown cover should it get lost or damaged, so there is minimal disruption to productivity.”

*survey Protect Your Bubble


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