How to Overcome the Worst Distractions at Work
Unfortunately, no matter how much you soundproof, lightproof, noise-proof, or stench-proof your home or office, there can still be distractions wherever you go. Even the most comfortable offices, rooms, or homes can be susceptible to different distracting elements, but there is a way to minimize these distractions or overcome them without making drastic changes. It goes without saying that creating a work environment where employees feel motivated is important if you want to make sure your team maintains better performance. Aside from providing the right benefits, this also means assisting employees with getting rid of common workplace distractions. According to a study conducted by CareerBuilder, hiring managers and over 3,000 employees from different industries all came to agree that noisy coworkers, social media addiction, sudden and unnecessary meetings, and excessive use of mobile devices account for being the worst workplace distractions. If you’re hoping to cut these distractions out of every work day, start by identifying the distractions in your own environment, and working out a solution with your team. Minimizing Smartphone or Mobile Device Use We live at a time where our smartphones have seemingly become extensions of our limbs, which pretty much explains why many professionals suffer from some form of mobile phone addiction. According to half of those interviewed by CareerBuilder in their study, smartphone use is the number one most common distraction in the workplace. The average number of times an adult checks their smartphone is believed to be 43 times. Although the study only suggests that this is the amount of time people spend to check their phones, what it doesn’t detail is how long they stay glued to the screen. Considering how often people check their phones, it’s no surprise why this habit is negatively affecting people’s individual work performance. One common way to deal with this is to enact a special rule where mobile phones cannot be used during meetings, presentations, seminars, and other important events in the office. Although this won’t eliminate mobile phone usage entirely, it could “heal” those who are most addicted to their smartphones. Another positive benefit of minimizing smartphone use the indirect promotion of collaboration and socialization. So many individuals use their mobile phones as a curtain separating them from their coworkers. Tear this curtain down with a no-phone policy. No More Noise The second most common productivity killer in the office, as well as in the home, is noise pollution. For tech companies who may have embraced the open-office layout, this issue has been deemed to be an epidemic. Although open-office designs are known to increase collaboration, socialization, and engagement, it removes privacy from the workplace entirely. Without concrete divisions among employees, this could encourage coworkers to socialize more… but work less. The open-office layout may be perfect for the avid socializers, but it is also the perfect breeding ground for office gossipers. And as you probably know, nothing good comes out of office gossip. Office gossip is both time-wasting and harmful to office relationships. While office renovations tend to be the most common fix to the open office design, other offices who can’t renovate their offices that easily turn to enacting indoor voice rules. By encouraging employees to use their indoor or library voice, you hit two birds with one stone: you eliminate the noise (and gossip) and make the office a more welcoming and calming place. Lack of Appropriate Work Tools In order to do any job right, it’s always important to have the right tools. For corporate offices, the “right” work tools do not end with having tables, chairs, computers, airconditioning, and coffee makers; in today’s health conscious world, it has also become important for companies to invest in ergonomic office equipment. Motorized sit-and-stand desks, for starters, are the smarter and healthier counterparts of the usual, bulky office table. While tables suffice in offices, they can be productivity killers if they do not offer the right support that can make work for convenient. Body pains, too, can be a work distraction, and aside from working out, massages, and painkillers, one way to deal with body aches and pains brought about by sedentary lifestyles is to utilize ergonomic equipment at work. Can’t Stay Focused? Finally, the study by CareerBuilder also pointed at a very common productivity killer, which anyone with internet access may be guilty of: mindlessly scrolling through websites upon websites without a specific goal. In other words, wasting your time on the internet during your office hours has caused millions, and even billions, in productivity costs. The solution to this is fairly easy: simply try to stop mindlessly browsing websites, or use your time at work wisely.