For the last six months or so, the vast majority of us have been encouraged to work from home in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus. It’s just one of the major changes we’ve been forced to adapt to in these unprecedented times, but doing our jobs remotely has not been without its advantages.
With no commute to contend with, we can treat ourselves to a morning lie in or extra leisure time in the evening, and an increased amount of flexibility has enabled many to achieve a greater work-life balance.
Over recent weeks, people up and down the country were beginning to return to the workplace, but the government’s latest announcement, amid a rise in cases, means we are all being asked to work from home if we can.
With these new guidelines set to be in place for up to six months, doing our jobs remotely is something many of us will have to get used to. That may seem like good news for lots of people, but there’s no denying it also throws up several challenges. A lack of human interaction and not having an adequate working set-up are just two of those, and then of course there are the various distractions.
A survey by instantprint, provider of flyers, leaflets and other marketing materials has looked into the interruptions that we face on a daily basis and found that it’s our loved ones that take up most of our time:
- Children (28% of respondents said they were distracted in this way)
Thankfully, with kids now back at school, the days of home tutoring and classes via Zoom are over for parents – and the teachers! But there’s no doubt that for a number of months, juggling work commitments and looking after the little ones was a monumental challenge for mums and dads up and down the country.
- Partners (24%)
And if it’s not the children driving you up the wall, chances are it’s your significant other, with almost one-in-four revealing that their partners proved a major distraction during the working day. Whether that’s on calls with their work or asking what’s for lunch, sometimes our loved ones just get in the way.
- Pets (20%)
Most people consider their pets an equal part of the family as their sons or daughters, and it turns out they’re almost just as much of a distraction. They need walking, feeding, letting out for a wee – all of which can affect our productivity.
- Chores (20%)
Meanwhile, many of us have used the added flexibility of working from home to get a few jobs done around the house. Whether it’s pushing the hoover around, doing some washing or changing the bedding, one-in-five reported that they have allowed chores to get in the way of their work.
- Online shopping (17%)
Things like tutoring the kids or feeding the dog are tasks that could and should take priority, but 17% of respondents to the survey admitted they had become distracted by online shopping. With no boss to look over our shoulder, it’s perhaps a little easier to spend half an hour here or there browsing our favorite sites for that bargain buy.
- Netflix (16%)
And the same goes for catching up on our favorite TV shows. With 44% of people saying they work mainly from the living room, it can be all too tempting to turn on the television and stick on the latest box set in the background. The danger is, though, that we get drawn into what’s happening on the screen and forget about what we’re supposed to be doing on our laptop.