What Telecommuters Really Do at Home
Many watch TV—but they're still productive: studies
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2012 3:42 PM CDT
A telecommuter and her cat pause to do some work at home.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If you work at home, you may have just been caught red-handed: Business Week reports on a new survey finding that, while on the clock:

  • 43% of telecommuters watch TV or a movie
  • 35% do chores around the house
  • 28% make dinner
  • 26% take naps
  • 24% have a drink
  • 20% play video games

But another recent survey found that people who work from home are actually more productive than those who work in an office. OK, so that study was focused on a Chinese travel agency, but it makes sense that telecommuters would be more productive—despite the distractions, writes Paul Waldman on Prospect.org. Why? Because there are just as many distractions for office workers, who frequently surf the web, take long lunches, and chat with co-workers. "The fact that you do it in an office while wearing a tie doesn't mean it more closely resembles real work than watching last night's Colbert at noon," he points out.

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
KooKooforCocoPuffs
Jul 2, 2012 11:20 AM CDT
This article brought to you by all the "Dwight Schrutes" of the world that would measure one's performance based on an amount of time, rather than on quality, responsiveness and timely delivery of the final product. This is namby-pamby, hair-splitting B.S. courtesy of all the clock watchers in the world.
Sunfall
Jul 1, 2012 9:21 PM CDT
Sure. I do all of the above when working from home - what of it? It's not like I simply don't do work; I just alternate between tasks so more stuff overall gets done. On a typical telecommute day, I'll start around 6:30 am, work until about 6 pm, and intersperse those loads of laundry, a tv break or a nap at lunchtime, or easily ignored TV while I'm working on the boring bits. If I'm in a listening meeting, chances are, I'm stretching near the speaker phone, or pulling weeds. I never cheat my employer, I just rearrange my day to be more efficient in all areas. If I'm on a deadline, that's different. Then, I'm working hard from the moment I get up until I'm done. Eight hours or eighteen - whatever it takes. Professionalism isn't punching a clock, it's getting the job done well, on time, and on budget.
Cheshire
Jul 1, 2012 1:37 PM CDT
I work at home, and this story completely offends me! I may even complain to Newser ... right after I take my third nap of the day.