Plugable Survey Finds What Remote Workers are Doing

More than a year after the first cases of COVID-19, many companies continue to operate remotely. While some organizations have started to bring employees back to the traditional office space others have made long-term commitments to telecommuting.

A new survey looks at some advantages of remote work, the social implications for couples, telecommuting “bad habits” and more.

Overall, the results are based on a Plugable survey conducted from Jan. 21 to Jan. 22 involving 2,000 U.S. adult respondents. A portion of the findings dives into reported benefits of telecommuting and the bad habits enabled by this environment.

The top reported perks of remote work included the lack of a daily commute, the option to wear whatever you choose, flexibility (errands, medical visits, etc.), and the ability to wash clothes and cook during the workday.

On the flip side, respondents made note of some of the bad habits remote work enables. For example, 37 percent of respondents said they browse the internet or peruse social media on the clock and 34 percent said they shop online during work hours. One-third said they binge-watch Netflix shows and about one-quarter (26 percent) leave home for non-essential trips such as shopping and nail or hair appointments during work hours.

With the shift to remote work, many people have festooned improvised home office spaces with varying degrees of success. The survey found that one-third of respondents lacked a productive space for work. Perhaps this is why 59 percent of telecommuters typically spend their time working somewhere other than a home office, per Plugable. One-third of respondents reported technical issues such as the internet cutting out.

About half of respondents are working remotely with a spouse or partner and this dynamic presents benefits and disadvantages, according to Plugable. Nearly three-quarters of respondents said their partner/spouse distracts them, and 64 percent said working with their significant other causes them to feel less productive and have difficulty focusing.

However, there are reported positives to note for coworking couples. More than three-quarters of respondents said working alongside a spouse or partner has improved their relationship and 81 percent said they communicate more often.

Among Americans working remotely, approximately half would prefer to telecommute in the long-term although 42 percent predict a return to the traditional office in the spring or summer of this year, according to Plugable.