HR Policies & Procedures

Working from Home Is the Work of the Future, Study Finds

How many of your employees work from home? A recent study by Amerisleep analyzed 1,001 remote employees across the United States. Among other things, this survey revealed both the sweeter and the more bitter sides of the increasingly popular remote lifestyle.

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  1. The industry that remote employees choose greatly affects the amount of sleep they get.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 35% of typical American adults are not getting sufficient sleep each night. For adults who work from home, that number is 39.5%. That said, 75.4% of remote workers in the marketing and advertising industry got the doctor-recommended hours of sleep. Only 50% of remote employees in the transportation industry got the same.

  1. Job dissatisfaction was much more common when remote employees didn’t get the proper amount of sleep.

Without adequate sleep, workers described lowered satisfaction levels on the job. Moreover, those who didn’t get the recommended amount of sleep were 76% more likely to exhibit high levels of stress. Both overall job satisfaction and general stress levels worsened with poorer sleep.

  1. Most people who worked from home enjoyed good sleep quality on typical weeknights.

Nearly 65% of remote workers said they slept well and that it took them an average of 25 minutes to fall asleep on an average weeknight. Remote employees who worked in government and public administration were the most likely to have high sleep quality and experienced 7.1 hours of sleep each night on average. Only 53.6% of transportation and warehouse workers obtained the recommended sleep and enjoyed an average of just 6.5 hours of sleep per night.

  1. The majority of remote employees planned to work from home for the rest of their career.

Seventy-five percent of those who worked from home expressed the desire to continue doing so until retirement. In fact, they were 57% more likely than the average American to be satisfied with their job. Over 80% reported high job satisfaction. Additionally, around 40% of remote employees described their days as “not stressful.”

  1. Remote employees worked longer hours but less efficiently.

On average, people worked from home 47 hours a week but felt unproductive roughly a quarter of the time. The education industry was the most likely to waste time, confessing to wasting 31.4% of their working hours, on average. The telecommunications industry reported wasting the least amount of time of any industry studied.

  1. Cleaning the house was the most popular downtime activity for remote workers.

Nearly 62% of remote workers used their spare time to clean their home. Equally as often, they used the extra time to watch TV. Almost 53% of the time, they ran errands.

  1. More than a quarter of remote employees experienced social isolation.

About 80% of people who worked from home said they felt isolated from others at least a little of the time. Roughly 76% reported feeling left out at least a little of the time, as well.

Best Practices for Working from Home

Know your capacity for productivity at home.

With all of the home-based distractions to possibly pull you away from work, it’s important to set up an area or office space where you can truly concentrate. Children, pets, and even electronics can all serve as productivity barriers, so it’s important to understand your own ability to focus before deciding to work remotely.

Get all the sleep you can.

Remote workers have the advantage of not needing to spend time on morning and evening commutes; however, they’re still not sleeping better. If you choose to work from home, make sure to use some of that extra time to get some rest.

The odds are you’ll love working from home.

The majority of remote employees planned to continue working from home for the rest of their career, and chances are, you would, too. Increased flexibility in scheduling, working locations, and even wardrobe can lead to happier employees. Social isolation, however, can be a major downside, so try to schedule social activities or spend time with loved ones whenever possible. Ultimately, remote work has become possible in almost every industry, so long as the employee has a laptop and Internet connection. It may very well be a path you choose. Simply follow the best practices and maintain your focus to make the most of this relatively newfound way to work.

Joe Mercurio is a Project Manager at Amerisleep.