How to Dispel Common Workplace Distractions

December 12, 20189:31 am
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No matter what business you are running, your employees are up against a plethora of distractions which could affect their productivity. According to data from Virgin Pulse, a great majority (95 percent) employees get distracted for almost two hours during workday. More than half says that distractions are preventing them from working properly. While small distraction might seem harmless, ignoring such issue could lead to even bigger problem that would not only lower employee productivity, but also potentially affect the whole company.

A survey conducted by CareerBuilder showed that there are two biggest distractions employees face in the workplace; cell phones (55 percent) and the internet (41 percent). Other distractions that employees often have to deal with include gossiping with other employees, spending time on social media too much, co-workers dropping by, taking smoke breaks or snack breaks, emailing and meetings with non-related work people/event, having noisy coworkers, or daydreaming in a cubicle.

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The survey also mentioned that those distraction sooner or later will make the company pay as 75 percent respondents say two or more hours a day are lost in productivity. 43 percent say at least three hours a day are lost. Other bad impacts a workplace distraction can do to a company are: compromised quality of work, lower morale, negative impact on boss/employee relationship, missed deadlines, loss in revenue, and negative impact on client relationship.

Do you or your employees face at least one or two distractions in daily basis?

If yes, you might want to try and apply these several strategies to avoid, minimise, and handle distractions that could be destructive.

Invest in your employees’ health habit

The best way to curb distractions and focus on your employees top to-dos is to invest in their health with robust workplace well-being programs. You can as well offer tools and resources that support all aspects of employees’ well-being to help them manage their stress and adopt healthy habits such as eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.

Block or stay away from internet and cellphone

In a working environments that are increasingly centred on online communications, it can be really difficult to disconnect and focus on deep communication. Therefore, you can encourage employees to turn off their phones or set it in silent mode at work. Then, ask them to place it in a drawer where they cannot see any unnecessary notifications every time the phones turn its light. Same goes to unnecessary web browsing, you can block several websites that might distract them from their task. You should, especially, block all browsers that are unrelated to your work. If it is hard for you, you can try some applications such as Trackr, StayFocused, or Strict Workflow to help manage your time productivity.

Avoid unnecessary talks and meetings

Gossiping and conversation are important to build a friendly collaborative culture. However, if it is left unchecked, it will affect employees’ productivity and team morale. When a coworker comes to chit-chat and you are still working on your report, you can ‘trick’ them by putting on your headphones. It is a good signal that indicates you do not want to be disturbed. Else, you can say to your coworker that you have something important to do or try to have a discrete conversation that their gossip is impacting your day. You can as well tell your manager to have a quiet word with them about it.  

It applies with unnecessary meetings too. Do not just click accept or say yes, think of the consequences and whether or not it will benefit your personal development. For example, just because you are invited, does not mean you have to attend. Maybe you are too caught up with your tasks or you are not the right person to go along. Choose wisely.

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