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A New Study Found One In Three Remote Workers Used Their Car As Work Space

Respondents have stated they spent over $1,700 on tools and essentials to work comfortably from their own home.

More than a third of employees spend an average of an hour a day working from bed (35%), according to new research by One Poll.

A survey of 2,000 people who work mostly or entirely remotely explored how working from home has evolved over the last few years.

A remote worker on her laptop conducting business in the backseat of her vehicle. About 28% of remote workers have work from their car where others have done work else where. TIMA MIROSHNICHENKO/SWNS RESEARCH

Prior to the pandemic, when respondents worked outside the office, they reported working from a hotel (43%), a friend or family member’s home (36%) or coffee shop (28%).    

Nearly a third of those surveyed even worked from their car (28%) and others worked while wave-watching at the beach (8%).

That mobile office mentality has given way to the home office. Now, most respondents work primarily from a dedicated home office (63%).

Conducted by OnePoll for Office Depot, the survey found that 55% of people who recently moved did so, at least in part, because they needed a better home office workspace.

The lack of a dedicated home workspace is even more of an issue for those who have had roommates. A quarter of those who live with others report needing more space since they share a workspace with other members of their household (25%), and 31% of these respondents said they have a hard time evenly dividing the time.

The new poll shows that most remote workers have done work from a hotel, a friend’s house, or at a coffee shop while others have done work from their own car. ONE POLL/SWNS RESEARCH

In addition, creating a successful home office space that encourages productivity requires both time and money. The average remote worker has spent about $1,700 of their own money on equipment or tools to work more comfortably from home, with 30% claiming they have “remodeled” their workspace at least three times since they first started working from home.

Respondents said the most underrated products for having a productive and enjoyable work environment are an adjustable chair (24%), a spacious desk with storage (22%), organizational tools like planners or desk organizers (10%) and a laptop stand/riser (9%).

While working remotely may not be perfect for everyone, respondents said the pros outweighed the cons. They reported being able to dress comfortably (57%), having no commute (54%) and working on their own schedule (53%) as the top perks.

And with more than three in four (77%) saying at least half of their time is spent in their home office compared to all the other rooms in their home, workers are looking to customize these spaces more than ever.

“Working from home has evolved from makeshift workspaces using countertops and barstools to more thought-out home office setups that rival even the best corporate office spaces,” said Kevin Moffitt, president of Office Depot. “As fully remote and hybrid work models continue to gain momentum, we expect people will continue to invest in optimizing their home offices.”    

The evolution of remote work is evident. More than a third of those surveyed (35%) said that if they had to use the same home office setup they had when they first started working remotely, they would not even be able to do their job today.

In terms of what prompted their decision to set up a dedicated home office space, most people did it to help make working easier or more efficient (63%) or because they needed a more comfortable workspace (52%), while 43% needed to remove distractions from their environment and another 37% needed more space to do their work.

But not all respondents are comfortable with their current at-home workspace — 44% said that lately, their home just feels like their workplace and most agree that it still needs improvement (68%).

Seven in 10 said there are still items that they haven’t purchased, yet that would make their work-from-home life better, including storage (36%), office décor (34%) or a larger desk (34%).

Others would love to add another monitor (30%) or a high-quality camera for video calls (27%).

“The positive impacts of a comfortable and efficient home office environment cannot be overstated,” said Moffitt.

Produced in association with SWNS Research

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