A new survey reveals what Norwegians actually do when working from home

Working from home isn’t always as efficient and uninterrupted as we’d like to admit. A new survey reveals what distracts Norwegians from doing actual work at home.

A recent survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Technopolis discloses some of the non-work-related tasks Norwegians do when working from home. Technopolis rents offices to over 100 tenants at Fornebu in Norway and is well versed in office trends after years of experience as a shared workspace expert.

The survey also provides us with insight into the different Norwegian regions. In Western Norway, for instance, doing laundry tops the list with 47%. In addition, 34% say they have cleaned or tidied up their homes, 22% have watched TV, and 21% have pretended to work but done something else. Western Norwegians also reveal that 15% have taken a nap or slept while working from home.

"Although working from home can be practical, efficient, and necessary at times, it can be difficult to stay focused and not get distracted," says Alf Astrup, Business Unit Director of Technopolis Oslo and Stockholm.

He also highlights that individuals working from home frequently extend their workday, working beyond the original working hours. The structure of the workday in a home office setting can thus be quite distinct compared to working in the office.

"This is by no means intended as a criticism directed at Norwegians working from home, but the statistics are interesting and shed light on how the workday can become markedly different when we work remotely," says Astrup.

Younger people watch more TV

The survey shows that there are some interesting differences in what people do when working from home depending on age. Respondents in the age group 55+ spend the least amount of time on non-work-related tasks when working from home. 36% state that they have not done any of the aforementioned non-work-related tasks, and only 8% respond that they have watched TV.

Among the age group 18-34, however, 33% report watching TV and 28% have pretended to work when doing something else. Another funny finding relates to laundry, as over 50% of the age group 35-54 have reportedly done their laundry when working from home. As such, this age group is by far the one who does the most laundry when working from home.

This annoys us the most

Although the survey shows that Norwegians generally enjoy working from home, it also reveals that several things annoy them as well. 14% of respondents are bothered by inefficient work, while 8% are annoyed by poor internet connection. The respondents also find a dirty or messy home (5%) and noisy neighbors (5%) annoying.

The survey also shows that 11% find working from home lonely. As such, proving that the office is not just a place for work but also for collaboration, creativity, and networking. This is also seen through the clear preference for physical meetings, as 63% prefer physical meetings over digital meetings.

According to Astrup, this is not a surprising find, as a good work environment is made through interactions at the office.

"Although working from home has its advantages, it also comes with some challenges. Working in an office can often provide better working conditions, social interaction, and a completely different work experience. At the same time, working from home is here to stay, and employers should offer their employees a good work environment that promotes well-being, productivity, and collaboration in the office and facilitate flexibility," says Astrup.

About the survey

  • The survey was conducted by YouGov for Technopolis.
  • 1000 employed people who work entirely or partially in an office outside the home have responded to a questionnaire.
  • The survey was conducted in weeks 35-39 in 2023.