I’m working from home today, and I won’t lie — it’s a tough day. I’m still exhausted from a long three days at Benefits Forum & Expo, and returned home to gray weather and scores of to-do items that had been piling up while I was gone. I’m tired and overwhelmed, and it would be easy and wonderful to chuck it all and go veg out on my couch.
It would be too easy, in fact. So, instead of trying to work from the living room I’m fighting temptation by working from the island in my kitchen — lots of light, a high-backed chair and no remote control for as far as my eyes can see. So far, so good.
However, according to a new CareerBuilder survey, some of my fellow teleworkers are giving in to their darker angels. The survey finds that teleworkers confessed to their top distractions when working from home:
- Household chores (31%).
- TV (26%).
- Pets (23%).
- Errands (19%).
- Internet (18%).
- Children (15%).
In fact, some are so distracted (perhaps by all of the above), that 17% of Americans who telework at least part of the time spend one hour or less actually working.
“To avoid situations where teleworkers aren't putting in the necessary time, managers need to be clear about expectations and establish daily objectives,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of HR at CareerBuilder. “The autonomy of working from home can be very rewarding so long as it doesn't diminish productivity."
Haefner recommended the following tips to help teleworkers work as efficiently as possible:
- Keep a normal routine.
- Find the best spot to work.
- Stay connected to colleagues.
- Plan breaks.
- Work at a coffee shop to maintain human contact.
What are your tricks for staying productive when working from home? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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