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Not having to commute, being able to stay in your pyjamas all day and being exempt from tea rounds are among the biggest perks of working from home, according to a study released today by smart heating experts, Drayton. Researchers polled 2,000 people who work from home and identified the benefits of doing so – including the avoidance of office politics and annoying colleagues.
However, it comes with distractions too – with the most common being daytime TV, social media and household chores, such as emptying the washing machine. Other common diversions include taking parcel deliveries, cleaning the house and internet shopping.
Commissioned by Drayton, makers of the brand new multi-zone smart heating system, WISER and part of Schneider Electric, the research also found those working from home are typically distracted six times a day.
A spokesman for Drayton said: “Our research aims to shine a light on what it’s like to work from home – and as it shows, there are plenty of benefits. Arguably the biggest challenge they face is staying focussed; there are plenty of potential distractions. However, analysis of our findings shows those who work from home feel they are as effective if not more so as those who work in traditional workplaces such as offices.”
Carried out through OnePoll.com, the research found 30 per cent find it easier to get work done when working from home – compared to working in their usual workplace. In addition, 54 per cent said they feel happier working from home than they do working in a traditional workplace such as an office – and around two thirds find it less stressful. In fact, on a typical day those polled will send 22 emails, make 13 phone calls – spending 2 hours and 23 minutes on the phone – and send 14 instant messages.
Further advantages to working from home include being able to have the radio on, flexible working hours and saving money on childcare.
The research also found the largest proportion of those surveyed – 36 per cent – do all their work from the living room and 26 per cent do it from the home office. However, 13 per cent work from the kitchen, around 1 in 10 work from bed – and some even work from the bathroom. Flexibility seems to aid productivity!
The key to being productive when working from home, according to 43 per cent of those polled, is being left alone. 34 per cent think having a dedicated workspace is important, for 35 per cent having a tidy house is vital, and 25 per cent like to have natural lighting – things workers often cannot individually control in an office environment. 1 in 5 say being in their own surroundings is the key to being effective, and 25 per cent like to have music on in the background.
Other things which have a positive impact include having the TV on, having pictures of the kids on the desk and not being too hot or too cold.
Drayton also found around three quarters of respondents have the heating on when working from home during the winter months. But of the 24 per cent who don’t pop the heating on, 38 per cent avoid it because it’s too pricey, half consider it to be a waste of money and 23 per cent don’t like heating the whole house when they are only using one room.
A spokesman for Drayton said: “Having the heating on can be somewhat of a dilemma because it is increasingly expensive, but no one wants to be cold all day when trying to get important work done.
“Other respondents are worried about the cost implications of having to heat an entire house when they’re only using one room.
“Heating systems such as WISER with individual room control are a great solution to this, as they allow you to divide the home into zones and heat it more efficiently.”
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