Survey Results: Your Biggest Challenge When Working Remotely

Dana Guterman
Published: July 9, 2020

With the days getting longer and hotter, most of us have settled into a summer rhythm. And while things are anything but normal, we have one thing that unites us: Most of us are working remotely. Whether you’re interning, taking online courses, or doing something else entirely, this is a summer like no other—and we want to know how you’re holding up.

Last month, we asked site visitors to weigh in on their biggest concerns about their remote internships. As we shift from getting internships to making the most of the experience, we’ve been asking, “What has been your biggest challenge when working remotely?

Over the past two weeks, we’ve heard from over 100 Chegg Internships users. Here’s what we learned.

Graph showing respondents' greatest challenges when working remotely.

More than one in three respondents is struggling to stay focused and avoid distractions as they work from home. When you’re working in an office or the school library, there’s not much to do except work. When you’re at home, distractions are front and center 24/7. If you need some help concentrating, check out our tips on staying focused when you work from home. The 14% of respondents struggling with time management and scheduling will also find some useful pointers there.

Next up, the fifth of respondents who are struggling to learn new skills. Here’s the good news: 32% of respondents were worried about learning new skills in our previous survey, but only 19% are actually struggling. Still, it’s definitely an added challenge when you can’t tap a colleague on the shoulder and ask a question.

Don’t be afraid to use Slack, Zoom, and other online tools to ask for help, and check out these tips for optimizing your internship experience. We also have some great advice about how to make the most of your remote internship from an actual intern program manager.

14% of respondents are having trouble maintaining a work-life balance. Despite some employers’ concerns that remote workers get less done, the opposite tends to be true. Without a commute and a clear separation between work and leisure time, many remote employees work longer hours. To keep your work and life separate, set your calendar to reflect your actual working hours—and then don’t respond to messages or emails outside of those hours unless absolutely necessary. Additionally, if at all possible, create a separate workspace. That way, you can “leave” at the end of the day, creating a clear divide between the office and home (even if, you know, everything’s actually at home).