Common Distractions At Work

Technology helps us boost our productivity in some ways; however, it is also technology that could be blamed for preventing employees to be more productive at their jobs. Smartphones, the internet, or social media are just a few of the productivity killers. However, technology can't take all the blame from preventing employees from getting their work done.

Workplace distractions can also lead to some significant consequences. The interruption can negatively affect the quality of work, employee morale and the boss/employee relationship. Some employees have taken the necessary steps to ensure that distractions are prevented.

Some companies even include blocking the site of social media, banning personal calls, instituted lunch and break time and other factors such as having an open space layout instead of a cubicle. With the given scenarios, it is always not the solution if we want to protect productivity at the workplace.

Common distractions and productivity killers at work are the following:

  • Cellphone/Texting
  • Surfing the net
  • Gossiping
  • Reading unnecessary emails
  • Long meetings
  • Noisy co-workers

What are the key elements to ensure employee productivity?

Taking Breaks

It has been proven that taking breaks is the key to productivity because it enables your mind to rest. It also lets you do some personal stuff so that you will not be tempted to do this during office hours. It is important that employees are encouraged to take a break during the day, but they have to ensure that they know the definite ending time that they have.

It is also important to walk or stand for a while. If workers are having trouble concentrating, have them step outside and have a 10-20 minute walk. It is also important to invest in a sit-stand desk that can help workers to stand and alleviate the sedentary lifestyle. When you are standing your blood vessels pumps, and this can be similar to a light exercise that can rejuvenate the brain. Standing also is good as this can prevent common cardiovascular problems such as high blood and diabetes.

Unnecessary Emails

Some of our emails in the inboxes are less urgent than others. We often feel the need to check at them as this could be an important message. Here are some of the few tips on how you can manage messages so that they won't take you away from important tasks.  

Schedule Checking Time: The important thing to do is manage your customers, your boss and co-workers on how to respond properly. It is essential that we set a time checking and responding to messages. If possible, set a time or give yourself every half an hour to respond to emails, so you don’t get distracted every time you receive one.

Schedule Checking of Additional Emails in Less Productive Time: Schedule your important task at your peak hours and productive work schedule. Schedule email in your less productive times, choose between morning and afternoon.

Use the Trash: Don't keep the emails forever. Know how to manage your inbox as it grows as you might lose important ones. Once you've replied to them, place the emails that you don't need in the trash and archives the ones that you want to keep.

Browsing the Internet

Reading the latest headlines, checking Sports TV, and ordering new clothes online can steal 30 minutes of your time and can be regarded as office breach rules. If browsing is required at ones work, make sure that you allot time and keep off yourself from searching unnecessary aside from the sites needed from your work.  


It is one of the causes of distraction at work and it comes in many forms, some are intentional, and some are not. Sometimes it could be giggling co-workers in a pantry taking a break or a furious co-worker typing on a keyboard from the cubicle. Whatever these distractions might be, it could definitely be frustrating. Outside distractions are included too, and this could be an ambulance siren, street drill or train screeching.

One of the factors that can stop distractions is to have headphones. Noise cancelling ones are a better option. If noise cannot be prevented, find a place in your cubicle that is somewhat quiet, and you can work at peace. Many modern offices have designated a calm area where any form of noise is not allowed.

The Environment

The environment is a distraction that is less explicit but can affect your concentration. Temperature can play a big factor that can sometimes be silly to complain. Having a too cold or too hot environment is something difficult to handle. If your cubicle is at the glare of the sun, it may be difficult for you to look at the computer screen and, therefore, it would be harder for you to focus on your work. It is best that temperature is acceptable for everybody and that you can see your screen clearly without any distractions.

Office Phone

Constant calls from another department whether urgent or not can lead to distractions. Sometimes it is best not to answer the phone until you've caught up, but a voicemail needs to be set up so that your callers are informed that you will get back to them as soon as possible. The most significant barrier to getting your work done are the ones that require an immediate answer. A worker needs to try and prioritize their task because once a call pops up, your current job could get piled up and the original work gets neglected.

Use of Personal Smart Phones

Smartphones or our phones enabled us to be more connected than we've been ever before, but along with these benefits come some downsides. This is the pleasure that we get which leads to temptation when we are checking our phones regularly. To prevent the issue, since many people use smartphones during business hours to take calls and stay connected, they should know when to take personal calls and when do not. Also, it is important to not use their phones for social media purposes in order to avoid distractions. Powering down our phones is not just an option. They can be turned into a silent notification for those times you need full concentration.