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Build Your Career Home Office

Productivity Rising Among Employees Who Work from Home

home-office-11091602 Credit: Dreamstime.com

As the number of Americans working for home increases, so does the amount of work they’re getting done, new research reveals.

A survey from CareerBuilder found that 35 percent of those telecommuting from home rather than visiting the office work eight or more hours a day, up nearly 20 percentage points from four years ago.

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said the use of smartphones and advanced network technology has made access to the office easier than ever, resulting in more companies embracing the work-from-home option and more workers putting in full-time hours from inside their own house.

On the other side of the equation, though, 17 percent of the more than 5,000 telecommuters surveyed said they spend just an hour, or even less, actually working each day.

"To avoid situations where telecommuters aren't putting in the necessary time, managers need to be clear about expectations and establish daily objectives," Haefner said in a prepared release. "The autonomy of working from home can be very rewarding so long as it doesn't diminish productivity."  

Telecommuters are largely split as to whether their time is better spent at home or at the office.  Nearly 40 percent said they’re more productive at the workplace, while 29 percent reported getting more work done from the house.

While talkative co-workers and the allure of the vending machine can cause distractions at the office, those who work from home named household chores as the biggest interruptions in their workday. The television, pets, errands, children and the lure of the Internet also made the list.

With the survey revealing that 30 percent of telecommuters work from home while in their pajamas, Haefner advises keeping a normal routine to help improve efficiency.

Haefner also advises finding a spot to work that has as few distractions as possible, keeping in regular contact with colleagues to help keep your mind on the job, and scheduling short breaks to take care of chores, play with pets, or run a brief errand if necessary. Haefner said telecommuters will be less likely to succumb to quitting work early if they structure the perks of being at home appropriately into their schedule.


Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.