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1 in 3 Aussies guilty of this bad work-from-home habit

·News Reporter
·4-min read
A man sleeping on the lounge with his work laptop next to him.
Younger workers tend to be the worst offenders when it comes to some unprofessional work-from-home habits. (Source: Getty)

With more than 40 per cent of Australians regularly working from home, and more permanent work-from-home arrangements on the rise, there's no doubt it's here to stay.

When it comes to working from home though, new research has revealed that not all workers are equally efficient, with as many as one in three Aussies admitting to literally sleeping on the job.

Data recorded from 2,522 adults across America, Canada and Australia revealed 30.8 per cent of Australians admitted to sleeping while on the clock, with those aged 35-44 the worst culprits.

While not everyone is sleeping on the job, other bad work habits include slacking off, with one in four workers taking longer breaks or working fewer hours in general.

The worst slackers

Younger adults, between the ages of 18 and 34, were the worst offenders when it came to slacking off, data from insurance-comparison website Compare the Market revealed.

In Australia, the data revealed those aged 25-34 were the most likely to be flexible with working hours in general, whether it be extending or shortening lunch breaks.

Not all Australians working from home are slackers, with 9.9 per cent clocking in longer hours than their peers. Credit: Getty
Not all Australians working from home are slackers, with 9.9 per cent clocking in longer hours than their peers. (Source: Getty)

Younger Aussies also seem to enjoy running errands, with 22.6 per cent leaving the house entirely during work hours, in contrast to Canadians (16.9 per cent) and Americans (15.7 per cent).

The study also revealed the other distractions Australian workers confessed to, which included watching TV (28.6 per cent), consuming alcohol (13.3 per cent), or working on a side hustle (10.7 per cent).

Other popular, non-work-related activities noted from the general population included drug use, sexual activity, and working from inappropriate locations.

In Australia, men were found to be more likely to admit to bad behaviour while working from home, and eight times more likely to have been distracted by non-work-related activities.

Around 60 per cent of those surveyed confirmed they had more than one workspace around their home, however nearly 35 per cent also admitted to having worked somewhere other than their typical workspace.

The most common alternative location was bed, with nearly a quarter (23.4 per cent) doing so, while the outdoors accounted for 14-17 per cent. Another 5.6 per cent admitted to signing on from their bathroom, data showed.

Other popular work spaces included a friend or family member's house, hotels and other accommodation.

Overworked Australians

On the opposite side, data from the study also found a decent 31-38 per cent of respondents said they worked their typical hours, with 12.1 per cent of Australians doing the exact opposite of slacking off by overworking.

A further 9.9 per cent also said they worked longer hours by clocking off late or starting earlier than usual.

Hannah Norton, spokesperson for Compare the Market, said that while it was tempting to indulge in distractions at home, it was important to stay focused.

"It is important to set some ground rules to keep you focused on what you should be doing," Norton said.

"Not only is it disrespectful, sleeping or consuming alcohol while you are supposed to be working can put your job at risk."

She noted that people had been resigning from their jobs in droves over the past year - an indication of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on people's state of mind.

However, she added: "If you find that you are not enjoying your job enough to stay focused throughout your day, it may be time to look elsewhere for a position in which you can work more efficiently."

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