An eye-opening survey of 2,000 American adults reveals that working from home during Covid19 lockdowns is particularly active in the bedroom, not just the home office.
Among the remote workers surveyed, nearly half currently (46%) work alongside a spouse or partner in the home.
Although challenges such as distraction (74%), loss of productivity (64%), and lack of focus (64%) have arisen, remote coworking is having a positive effect on healthy relationships.
For couples working together at home, 81% reported increased communication, 77% noted the relationship improved, and 70% even said their sex life improved – with 17% admitting to having sex during the workday.
Working and living in close quarters can lead to fights revolving around: need for silence during a video or audio call (71%), physical location of the workspace (65%), other distractions in the home (64%), child and family care (63%), when to eat lunch or take breaks (60%), whether or not TV is allowed in the background (59%) and access to equipment (54%).
Lockdown home workers appreciate the flexibility, from lack of a daily commute (63%) and the ability to wear whatever you choose, to being able to leave home freely for appointments or errands (48%) and getting ahead of household responsibilities (45%), like cooking and laundry.
Astonishingly 58% of those surveyed work some of the day in their PJs – presumably not including the jiggy 17%.
Working from home has also opened the door to bad habits and distractions during the workday, such as scrolling through social media (37%), shopping online (34%), binging Netflix (33%), and non-essentials trips outside of the home (26%).
Working from home tech issues
Beyond the sedentary lifestyle (41%) and being distracted by family members (37%), remote workers find the lack of a productive space for work (34%) and tech issues (33%) most challenging about working from home.
Check out our Small Business Tech section for work-from-home tips and products that you need to make your remote work more productive and comfortable.
In terms of increasing productivity while working remotely, employees agree that the following workspace improvements would help: a quiet workspace (87%), improved Wi-Fi connection and home network (82%), an additional monitor (76%), a larger desk (76%) and a better chair (75%).
Proper equipment and a dedicated workspace are keys to successful remote working, but during the workday nearly a quarter (23%) admitted that they work on the sofa or in bed.
More than 42% people feel that the most productive work setup would be a desk with a laptop, docking station, and one or more extra monitors.
The most common IT issues while working from home are: internet connectivity (73%), lack of IT support (66%), computer speed (66%), and access to tools and programs (64%).
The at-home equipment currently used by most remote employees includes: a comfortable chair (79%), one monitor (76%), an external mouse (74%), a surge protector power strip (71%), and an external keyboard (66%).
For those who didn’t have the equipment they needed – or if it was provided by their employer – many people have spent their own money to upgrade at-home workspaces since March 2020.
The largest single investment was extra displays at $132 (£94) on average. A comfortable chair (bought by 63%) cost $107 (£76), and noise-cancelling headphones (54%) to block out distractions, $75 (£54).
The simplest way to hook up external displays and other devices to a laptop is via a docking station or USB hub (52%), which on average cost $73 (£52). 56% had to purchase a mouse (56%) at or around $57 (£41).
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The Work From Home Survey, conducted in January 2021, was commissioned by computer peripheral manufacturer Plugable. The sample included 2,000 U.S. adults (18+) who are currently working remotely.