In solidarity with Robert E. Kelly, after his rise to viral fame last week when his interview with the BBC was comedically interrupted by his young children (and wife in-chase!), we’ve looked into what the biggest disruptions are when working from home.

Almost a third (28%) of home-based workers have been distracted by a crying child while on a work call, our OnePulse poll has found.

In the survey, a third (33%) of respondents working from home stated that the biggest distraction was their children. Other interruptions that featured highly were: pestering pets (18%), flatmates (18%) and noisy neighbours (16%). Of those not working from home, 9% opted not to because of distractions (the children!) and a further 44% were not allowed to due to company policy.

Like Robert, 30% of respondents have been interrupted on a work call by a child, and a further 19% by a partner, however we found the biggest disturbance to work calls was the doorbell ringing (46%).

Don’t start to feel at ease just yet, as we found that only 7% of those working from home have never had any embarrassing interruptions while on a work call!

Following Robert’s interview on the BBC, there has been a lot of discussion about working from home, the distractions and his professionalism. We empathise with Robert, who was caught out when his children took centre stage during the live interview, and with 93% of our respondents saying they’ve been interrupted while on a work call, he isn’t alone!

With technology supporting employees anytime, anywhere and businesses becoming more flexible, it has driven activity away from the office, but with flexibility comes responsibility. So, in learning from Robert and our survey, we know that there are distractions, we just need to create strategies to minimise them. It’s important to remember that the open plan office comes with several sources of distractions.

Top strategies to help minimise home-based working distractions:

  • Replicating a quiet room at home to eliminate distractions
  • Planning and managing the day ahead and identifying time slots for routine work
  • Identifying etiquettes and protocols with your spouse or flatmates
  • Identifying a third space to work in such as a coffee house or co working environment, should reasons for distraction be beyond control