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Productivity: You face distractions no matter where you work

My biggest problem is reading.

I’ll click one link to learn something new about content marketing, workplace trends or social media.

Next thing I know, I’m clicking link after link after link, absorbing as much information as I possibly can on the topic.

But that kind of distraction would happen no matter where I work, whether it’s at an office, at home or in a Starbucks.

telecommuting productivity

CareerBuilder released survey results this week, asking work productivity questions of 2,138 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 3,022 full-time, private-sector workers.

Half of all employers said texting and cell phone use was the No. 1 problem, while 39 per cent said internet surfing and 38 per cent said social media.

The employees said email (23 per cent) and being forced to listen to coworkers’ calls on speakerphone (10 per cent).

You can see the disconnect there, can’t you? But what management sees and what workers experience is a story for another day.

The biggest productivity killers

Overall, the top 10 time wasters were:

1. Cell phone/texting
2. Gossip
3. The internet
4. Social media
5. Snack breaks or smoke breaks
6. Noisy coworkers
7. Meetings
8. Email
9. Coworkers dropping by
10. Coworkers putting calls on speakerphone

If you’re a telecommuter, you know you face a unique set of distractions.

Unless you’re gabbing about gossip on the phone with your teammates or besties during work hours, you can axe Nos. 2, 6, 9 and 10 off your list, right?

We can change “meetings” to conference calls and web conferences.

And we can add:

✓ The dog needs to pee
✓ The kids want to play
✓ That pile of laundry that needs to get folded
✓ Coffee-making time
✓ The temptation to nap
✓ Season 2 of Orange is the New Black on Netflix

Focus is an admirable trait in any employee — in-office or remote worker.

Rosemary Haefner, vice-president of human resrouces, said time-wasting habits do more than dampen individual productivity.

They hurt the entire company.

“When there is a pattern of distractions that eat up a significant chunk of the workday, it can have greater implications for overall performance,” she told BusinessInsider. “Losses in productivity can have a domino effect, negatively impacting revenue and client relationships, among other things.”

And when you’re a telecommuter, you risk the privilege of working from home.

At best, you could be called back into the office.

At worst, you could lose your job.

But we’re here because the boss trusted us, because remote workers produce more and better quality work.

So, we have to prioritize our duties, leave that housework until lunch break, set good boundaries with our family members and teach the dog to hold it.

OK, that last one might be a little tough.

We’re already carrying the burden of proof that telecommuting can work.

We don’t need to make it harder on ourselves.

Now get to work!

Your turn

What are your top distractions when you work from home? How do you stay focused?

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