An instant flow of emails, constant colleges` chats, phone calls, looking out windows – all these things distract employees from work.
Some companies admit that too many meetings and a heavy reliance on e-mail as a means of communication, only exacerbates the problem.
So what are the consequences of distractions at work and how to reduce the probability of their occurrence?
What do companies lose because of distractions at work?
Gloria Mark, a professor who studies digital distractions at the University of California, said that employees are concentrated at work for 15 minutes only. Later they distract or get distracted. Mark also claims that sometimes it takes up to 25 minutes to get back to the task the employee was performing.
Additionally, distractions at work cost the company money. The research conducted in the US showed that a company can lose more than 10 000$ because of one distracted employee. 45% of 515 surveyed employees said that they had been working without a break no more than 15 minutes. And 53% of respondents had wasted at least one a day on numerous breaks.
But not only technologies reduce concentration. The scientists from Cornell University conducted a research and found out that noise in open offices ultimately leads to increased employee stress and reduces their motivation to work.
If you don`t want your employees` productivity to fall and don`t want the company to suffer damages, then you should take care of your employees and make sure that nothing distracts them while working.
How to eliminate distractions at work?
1. Teach employees to respect other employees` time
Teach employees to respect their colleagues` working process. Explain that the answers to some questions can wait till the lunch break. And often, you can find the answer by Googling it, so there`s no need to distract the colleague.
2. Reduce noise pollution
If possible, don`t place noisy employees nearby those whose work demands quiet and a high level of concentration. Generally, the fewer people in one room – the better.
3. Establish a tradition to plan the day
Urgent tasks are productivity killers! Planning eliminates the hectic activity and gives the employee the opportunity to focus.
Also, try to abandon unscheduled meetings. They devour the time for your staff. You would think that you spend only 1 hour on the meeting. But if you have 5 people, you spend 5 hours of working time.
4. Invent a “Do not disturb” signal
If an employee is working on an important project, let them put a red flag on the table (or anything else that you or the employee likes). Thus, employees will be aware when someone is busy.
There you go! Four simple, free ways to eliminate distractions at work! Don`t hesitate and start using them right now!