Survey: Employed U.S. Adults Who Work from Home Shop Online More Often and For Longer Periods of Time

March 20, 2013 – As the recent work from home vs. working in the office debate rages on, a new survey reveals that online shopping happens more often, and for longer periods of time, when people are working from their homes. Nearly seven-in-ten (69 percent) employed U.S. adults who ever work from home said they shop online while on the clock, compared to 54 percent when working at their workplace. This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CouponCabin from March 12th – 14th, 2013, among 2,047 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among which 273 ever work from home.

When it comes to the amount of time employed U.S. adults spend clicking their way to purchases, those who ever work from home spend more time shopping online when telecommuting than when working at their workplace. Of those who ever work from home, nearly one-quarter (24 percent) spend an hour or more shopping online in an average week of telecommuting. Thirteen percent of those do the same when they are at their workplace.

Perhaps one of the reasons more people shop online while working from home is because it’s less likely someone will find out. Nearly half (47 percent) of those who work from home feel they are less likely to get “caught” shopping online when they telecommute.

“Online shopping is one of many interruptions that can lure workers away from their tasks, whether they’re at home or at their workplace,” said Jackie Warrick, senior savings adviser at “While taking a break now and then is necessary to remain productive, it’s important for workers to manage their time effectively and contribute to the success of their organization. This is true no matter where they’re physically located while they do their job.”

For some workers, working from home can make positive contributions easier. More than six-in-ten (63 percent) of those who ever work from home believe there are fewer distractions to their work when they’re working at home than when they’re in the workplace. In addition, 61 percent said they feel more productive working from home than when they’re at their workplace.

When it comes to how many people can do their jobs from home, not all employed U.S. adults report they have the option to work from home, and those who do tend to do so sporadically. Eight-in-ten (80 percent) of employed U.S. adults report that working from home is possible in their job, but only 36 percent ever do so. Twenty percent report that their work/profession requires them to commute to a workplace and working from home isn’t possible.

Of those who report that working from home Is possible, they typically do so:

  • at least one day a week – 15 percent
  • 2-3 days a month – 5 percent
  • less often than once a month – 16 percent