When remote working on a grand scale was first enacted, roughly a year ago, business leaders worried that employees would be distracted by other household members, kids and pets.

However, new research from email service provider Superhuman suggests fellow remote workers are in fact the main source of distraction.

Polling 1,000 US-based remote workers for the report, Superhuman discovered the overwhelming majority (89%) find daily tasks such as clearing out inboxes and addressing instant messages highly frustrating.

A third of respondents also cited an excess of video calls as among the most annoying aspects of their daily routines.

In contrast, just 18% of those surveyed were annoyed or distracted by other household members.

Remote worker burnout

As a result, employees are fed up with their jobs and have started thinking about doing something else.

More than a quarter of office workers (27%) said their jobs are now less fun, compared to before the pandemic, while 38% said email and/or chat is so annoying that it will most likely lead them to quitting their jobs.

The attitude is particularly common among workers under the age of 40. More than half of this demographic (51%) said emails, as well as Slack and Teams messages, could drive them to quit their jobs.

“The data is clear: the massive shift to remote work and digital communications is making employees fatigued and burned out,” said Rahul Vohra, founder and CEO of Superhuman. “Companies must urgently adopt tools and policies that will make employees happy and productive, regardless of where they work.”

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