The biggest challenges facing those working from home

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
April 29, 2020, 7:00 PM GMT+0

In the COVID-19 era, America’s ability to juggle work life and home life is being put to the test.

According to a new YouGov survey, more than a third (38%) of Americans working from home because of COVID-19 say distractions from family or other household members is a challenge while working.

Roughly half (48%) of workers at home have a partner or spouse at home during work, while 35 percent of Americans working at home have a child, as demonstrated by the common appearance of children on video conference calls.

Many in America’s at-home workforce also say maintaining interpersonal relationships with colleagues is a challenge (38%), coupled with 23 percent who say loneliness is a challenge.

More than a third (36%) also say it’s hard to find a proper workspace at home, leading to creative home-office solutions, such as using ironing boards as stand-up desks. According to the YouGov survey, a plurality (22%) of home workers are spending most of their working time in a den or office, but for many, that’s not possible. One in five (20%) are mostly perched in the living and another one in five are working mostly in their bedroom.

Despite family demands and less-than-ideal office spaces, the majority (56%) of those working from home say they somewhat like it or like it a lot, which may be further proof the traditional office as we know it could change.

More than a quarter (29%) of those workers said they are more productive working at home than they are in the office, while 29 percent say they are less productive. Nearly two in five (39%) say they are equally as productive at home as they are in their normal place of work.

Aside from productivity, working from home comes with other perks. More than two thirds (68%) of home-workers are enjoying no commute, while the same number (68%) benefit from dressing more casually and 61 percent list the ability to socially distance as a benefit.

Meanwhile, the YouGov survey data also confirms an economic reality of the pandemic: Those with an annual salary above $80,000 per year are more likely to be working at home, while those making between $40,000 and $80,000 are more likely to be working, but not at home.

Methodology: Total sample size was 1,327 US adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between April 23 - 24, 2020. The survey was carried out online.The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

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