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1 in 3 Australians guilty of this work-from-home habit

Young workers tend to be the worst offenders when it comes to certain unprofessional work-from-home habits. (Source: Getty)

With over 40% 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.

However, when it comes to working from home, new research has found that not all workers are equally efficient, with up to one in three Australians literally admitting to sleeping on the job.

Data recorded from 2,522 adults across America, Canada and Australia revealed that 30.8% of Australians admitted to having slept on waking, with people aged 35 to 44 being the worst culprits.

While not everyone sleeps at work, other bad work habits include slacking off, with one in four workers taking longer breaks or working fewer hours overall.

The Worst Slackers

Young adults, aged 18 to 34, were the worst offenders of laxity, data from insurance comparison website Compare the Market showed.

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

Not all Australians working from home are slacker, with 9.9% working longer hours than their peers.  Credit: Getty

Not all Australians working from home are slacker, with 9.9% working longer hours than their peers. (Source: Getty)

Young Australians also seem to enjoy running errands, with 22.6% leaving home entirely during working hours, unlike Canadians (16.9%) and Americans (15.7%).

The study also revealed the other distractions Australian workers admitted to, including watching TV (28.6%), drinking alcohol (13.3%) or working on a side (10.7%).

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

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

About 60% of respondents confirmed having more than one workspace around their home, but nearly 35% also admitted to having worked outside their usual workspace.

The most common alternative location was in bed, with almost a quarter (23.4%) doing so, while outdoors accounted for 14-17%. Another 5.6% admitted to logging in from their bathroom, the data showed.

Other popular workspaces included a friend or family member’s home, hotels, and other accommodations.

Overworked Australians

On the flip side, data from the study also revealed that 31-38% of respondents said they worked their usual hours, with 12.1% of Australians doing the exact opposite of slacking off overworking.

Another 9.9 percent also said they worked longer hours by leaving late or starting earlier than usual.

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

“It’s important to set ground rules to stay focused on what you need to do,” Norton said.

“Not only is it disrespectful, but sleeping or consuming alcohol while you’re supposed to be working can put your job at risk.”

She noted that people had quit their jobs en masse over the past year – an indication of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s mindsets.

However, she added: “If you find that you don’t enjoy your job enough to stay focused throughout your day, it may be time to look elsewhere for a role in which you can work more effectively.”

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