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'Homing at Work' Trend Becomes the Norm

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In today's evolving work environment, employees aren't only working from home, they're also "homing from work," new research shows.

A study by the digital media firm Captivate Network revealed that 93 percent of employees are taking care of personal and family needs during the workday in an effort to improve their work-life balance.

Specifically, nearly half of those surveyed left their office during the day to take care of personal errands, including going to the bank, picking up a gift, shipping a package, getting a manicure or pedicure and picking or dropping off dry cleaning.

In the last two years, the number of employees who are running errands during the day has increased by 31 percent, according to the study.

The research also found an 11 percent increase since 2011 in the number of workers who report having a healthy work-life balance, despite a 30 percent jump in the number of employees working more than nine hours a day.

"People seem to be getting more comfortable with putting in longer hours," said Scott Marden, research director at Captivate Network. "Part of that appears to come from the growing ability to take care of personal business during the workday."

The research shows that many employees are finding ways to complete personal tasks without ever leaving their desks. Nearly 70 percent of those surveyed use their work computers for personal online activities, including taking care of banking and insurance needs, scheduling vacations, shopping, finding a new recipe and searching for a new job.

Dan Levi, chief marketing officer at Captivate, believes the study's results show an opportunity for advertisers to connect with white-collar workers on more than just business-to-business products and services.

"What 'Homing from Work' says to me is that the channels that reach people during the workday should be used for more than B2B brands," he said. "This research points to new opportunities for reaching consumers when they are researching and purchasing products and services for themselves and their families."

The study was based on surveys of 4,000 white-collar workers across North America.

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Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad 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. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.