What Employees Find Most Distracting at Work

March 26, 201912:46 pm2365 views

Having a quiet, distraction- and stress-free workplace is everyone’s dream. Not only such environment helps employees concentrate better on their task, it is also among ways to make employees more productive, more motivated, and happier at work. Employees will likely to be more confident in their ability while maintaining their job and deliver higher quality at workplace. Thus, reducing or eliminating distraction at workplace can be seen as company perk employees can get.

However, workplace distraction is not just about where you work or what you work at, but also who you work with. According to Brad Killinger at Talent Economy, any kind of distraction at workplace can cost more than productivity loss, it makes employees unmotivated, stressed, and frustrated. Udemy report on Workplace Distraction revealed that “employees are feeling stressed, unmotivated, and bad about themselves when they undergo a distractive working environment.” According to Udemy report, here are list of the most annoying interruptions at the workplace.

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1.  Chatty coworkers – 80 percent  and Office noise – 70 percent

Not surprisingly, chatty workmate and office noise become the top distractors overall.

2.  Feeling overwhelmed by changes at work – 61 percent

It is true that being overwhelmed at work can lead to lack productivity. However, most employees often feel that they do not need to tell the employers that they have too much on their plates as they want to be seen as a competent one.  

3.  Meetings – 60 percent

If leaders think that their employees are fully engaged during meetings, they are sorely wrong. 60 percent respondents cite that meetings are just another interrupter from work they need to complete. Compounding the problem, meetings themselves frequently fall victim to interruptions and distractions.

4.  Social media – 56 percent

Although most respondents say their work are not related to social media, more than a third employees in the study say they spend two hours or more checking their smartphone during workday. Almost 59 percent agree that personal use of technology is more distracting than work tools.

Those aforementioned distraction are the cause of stress, frustration, and lack of motivation which make employees disengage in their work. Constant barrage of interruptions makes 34 percent respondents in the same report like their job less. Amongst millennial and Gen Z respondents, 22 percent feel distractions prevent them from reaching their full potential and advancing in their careers. 50 percent said they are significantly less productive, while 54 percent are not performing as well as they should. Concerning on the problem, companies should take further step to eliminate distraction at workplace. If it is not handled properly, workplace distraction can damage employee morale and retention because “it is hard to win people back once they’ve reached their limits.”

Nevertheless, albeit company’s efforts in proposing supportive culture, employees might not be willing to report to managers about their problem, because they will feel insecure about revealing areas of perceived weakness. Consequently, they are trying to cope the problem themselves by working from home when possible or putting a headphones to drive away chatty workmates.

However, companies still can help employees by employing learning culture. Almost 76 percent respondents say learning culture help them block out distraction and achieve focus. Providing flexi schedule or remote option, designing spaces for quiet, providing training on effective and time management, defining cultural norms, and regular ‘no meeting’ days are also effective methods to fight workplace distractions.

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