Here’s a Big Problem With Working From Home
Life + Money

Here’s a Big Problem With Working From Home


More than three-quarters of Americans workers who participate in conference calls with their colleagues admit to multi-tasking during the conversations.

A third of U.S. workers use the time to respond to work emails, while 24 percent eat lunch and 22 go through personal emails, according to a new survey by Clarizen, a collaborative work management software vendor. Among those surveyed, 17 percent admitted to using the restroom with the phone on mute during a conference call.

Nearly 70 percent of American employees work with a team that includes remote individuals, and nearly two-thirds participate in conference calls with colleagues. While such arrangements have many benefits, they can also lead to frustrations. A fifth of those surveyed said that it can be tough to keep everyone in the loop and communicate with everyone

The study found that workers spend an average of 11.8 hours per week preparing for and attending status meetings, including at least five minutes spent waiting for everyone to join the conference call.

Figuring out how to keep a team focused during a remote conference call is becoming an important workplace skill, and may grow even more valuable in the future. More than 80 percent of American workers say they want to telecommute at least part time, and the typical American worker is only at his office desk about half the time according to

Among workers who are not self-employed, the ability to regularly work from home has more than doubled in the past decade, and 3.7 million employees now work from home at least half the time.