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67% of Bristol residents admit to slacking off when working from home

Man sat on a chair with laptop

40% of Bristol home-workers admit to doing housework and “life admin”, while 33% are working 1-4 hours longer than normal.

A new survey* of over 2,000 UK employees by Protect Your Bubble, reveals more than 85% of people are more likely to engage in non-work-related activities while remote working such as watching Netflix, cleaning the house, doing life admin and even sleeping.

But what activities are Bristol workers most guilty of doing?

Of the non-work-related activities listed, Bristol residents are the most likely to catch up on housework, including washing, cleaning and hoovering, during the working day (40%).

They’re also spending time doing personal life admin instead of working, the study reveals, with 40% of respondents admitting to ticking off overdue “life” tasks instead of getting through their workload.

Cooking (39%), online shopping (36%) and watching TV/Netflix (33%) were also popular activities Bristol workers do during the working day:

Non-work-related activities% of residents
Housework40
Looking at social media27
Online shopping36
Cooking39
Watching Netflix or TV33
Exercise30
Personal life admin40
Playing games16
Sleeping15
Video calling friends or family9
Grooming (e.g. painting nails)9
Searching online for a new job10

As more companies introduce long-term remote working policies post-COVID-19, trust in the workplace has never been so important. Research shows employees in high-trust organisations are better at collaborating and more productive.

But in the UK, the findings suggest productivity during remote working could be declining. Only 15% of respondents said they haven’t engaged in non-work-related activities while working from home during their normal working hours.

Shockingly, almost 1 in 5 respondents admit to sleeping on the job. Plymouth employees are the worst, with almost 30% admitting to catching z’s throughout their working hours. Bristol workers aren’t as bad in comparison, but still, 15% admit to falling asleep on the job.

However, dozing off may not be such a bad thing, over 30% of respondents who admitted to sleeping during working hours said they felt more productive. In fact, research shows short 20 minute naps are more effective than drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee or tea for pick-me-ups.

Some home-workers in Bristol are also working up to 4 hours longer than normal, with 33% of respondents saying they usually work an average of 1-4 hours every day.

On average, Northern Irish workers struggle to finish work on time when home working, with over a third working between 1-4 hours longer than usual. On the other hand, Londoners are working the shortest days, with 46 admitting to working between 1-5 fewer hours than normal.

That said, Londoners could be onto something as it was recently announced MPs are pushing for shorter working weeks following the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s really interesting to see the difference in non-work-related activities UK employees engage in during working hours and the wide array of things people get up to, when they are supposed to be working!

Technology is essential for UK employees to continue home working successfully. So, it’s important employees ensure their equipment is well-covered with the likes of gadget insurance or mechanical breakdown cover should it get lost or damaged, so there is minimal disruption to productivity.

James Brown, Director at Protect Your Bubble
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