What Swedes actually do when working from home

If you've ever found yourself doing chores around the house or watching TV during working hours in your home office, we have good news – you're not alone. More than half of Swedes have done the same, according to new figures from a survey carried out by YouGov on behalf of Technopolis.

A combination of working from home and in the office, a so-called hybrid model, has become the new way of working for many in the modern workforce. Whether working from home or in the office is superior is a topic of discussion, as both options have their pros and cons. The risk of multitasking is greater when working at home, as shown in the survey based on 762 workers aged 20 to 65 in Sweden.

The results show that more than half of respondents have multitasked during working hours in their home office, with the most common distraction being various types of household chores. Thirty-eight percent stated that they washed clothes during working hours, and approximately one in four has cleaned their home.

"Carrying out household chores during working hours can be an attempt to simplify a stressful everyday life and an effective way to take breaks when working remotely. In the physical office, these needs for breaks are often met by socializing with colleagues over a cup of coffee," says Johanna Bergendahl, Key Account Manager at Technopolis Ullevi.

The survey also shows that it is not only productive tasks, such as keeping clothes and homes clean, that are carried out in the home office. Watching TV, pretending to work, or sleeping are also common during working hours. Seventeen percent of workers state that they have watched TV instead of working at some point, and almost the same percentage, 15 percent, have pretended to work while actually doing something else. Finally, 11 percent state that they have slept instead of working.

"An excess of multitasking affects not only your own efficiency but also that of your colleagues. Because there are more distractions at home, the risk of losing focus is higher, which can affect collaboration during a digital meeting, for example," says Bergendal at Technopolis.

Working from home comes with both pros and cons. A hybrid work model can give us the best of both worlds: office work that promotes social interaction and accessibility, and remote work that can contribute to well-being and reduce the time spent commuting to and from an office.

  • 38 percent have washed clothes during working hours
  • 17 percent have watched television during working hours
  • 15 percent have pretended to work while actually doing something else
  • 11 percent have slept during working hours

About the survey

The survey is about office habits and was carried out by YouGov during the period from 14-27 February 2024, through CAWI interviews of 762 people aged 20-65.