While seeing a team member frequently making personal calls or running online errands at work could annoy the most patient manager, it may have advantages for your team and organization.
Just as working from home can help maintain balance and flexibility, “homing” from work can improve work/life balance, according to a new survey from Captivate Network.
The organization found more professionals are managing personal and family needs during the workday, which correlated with putting in longer hours and still feeling better about their work/life balance.
Captivate’s 2013 study revealed there has been an 11% increase in the number of people reporting a healthy work/life balance since 2011. This improvement comes despite a 30% increase in respondents reporting working more than nine hours a day. The researchers suggested the trend they’re calling "Homing from Work" could be the reason with 93% of respondents saying they solved personal problems at the office.
"People seem to be getting more comfortable with putting in longer hours," said Scott Marden, research director at Captivate Network. "Part of that appears to come from the growing ability to take care of personal business during the workday. It's a definite shift."
More than two-thirds (69%) of professionals report taking breaks to do personal activities during the workday. “Homing from Work” behaviors are equally reported by men and women, among all age groups, at every title and at all income levels.
Overall, 68% went online looking for news and information, 49% were running errands and 31% shopped – either leaving work to visit nearby stores, or using online retailers. The most common errands and purchases were banking (71%), gifts, cards or flowers (52%), and arranging medical or dental appointments (45%).
So next time you see someone on a shopping site or popping out for some retail therapy, it might be what they need to remain focused and engaged in the workplace.