In a modern workplace environment, we get distracted very easily, be it work from the office or work from home. There is always something or someone to distract us. According to a recent survey conducted by Udemy, interruption negatively impacts our workplace productivity, performance, and potential.
On a daily basis, we face distractions every 11 minutes, and it takes around 25 minutes to get back to focus. It gets challenging to produce quality work with such distractions.
We sometimes find it hard to comprehend which distraction is self-inflicted or which is a real work environment distraction. So, let’s look at some common workplace distractions that we face in the workplace.
How do distractions affect workplace productivity and memory?
Distraction has a direct impact on employee productivity. Employees lose hours of their productive time by getting distracted and lose focus while doing their top priority tasks. According to many Business news daily reports, the lost work due to workplace distraction costs $650 billion per year to American businesses.
Many employees feel like they are not doing enough and feel less productive due to interruptions and it affects their memory while doing something important.
It is said that employees with good memory power tend to overcome distractions, and they are also efficient at work while employees with bad memory are most likely to get distracted easily which also affects their workplace productivity and quality of work.
Now, the question is what kind of distractions affect our productivity and how should we tackle them?
Most common workplace distractions and tips to solve them
01. Smartphone usage:
There is no doubt that we get distracted by our phones due to tons of emails, texts, and notifications. Everything that we do requires our phones like putting a reminder, scheduling our day, shopping, and so on. In simple words, we are just addicted to our smartphones, and it is a very common workplace distraction that we get during our working hours.
It is not easy to get rid of our phones easily, however it’s also not impossible. Let’s look at some tips on how you can deal with your distractions from smartphones.
Tip to overcome workplace distractions from smartphones:
- Do not keep your phone close to your working desk
- Keep your notifications off or in silent mode
- Put your phone in airplane mode while doing high priority tasks
Meetings are one of the most time-consuming and unproductive tasks which can’t be ignored. Most employees would agree with the fact that 40% of the meetings are not important or productive. Most of the employees’ work remains unfinished due to the number of meetings per day.
Tip to overcome workplace distractions from unproductive meetings:
- Set clear agenda for the meeting so that it turns out to be productive
- Skip meetings that you think are not important for you and communicate with the organizer via email
- While scheduling meetings, invite only necessary and important people
- Set a “No-meeting” day at your workplace
When the workload increases, we often tend to multi-task which directly impacts the quality of work. It limits our ability to be productive and creative. A recent study by Harvard Business states that 40% of our productivity declines when we start to focus on many tasks at once. When you are doing various tasks at the same time it reduces your energy and will to focus. It is one of the major workplace distractions that affect employees’ productivity.
Tip to overcome multitasking:
- Use the time blocking method when you have multiple tasks
- Take short breaks to be fresh and more efficient
- Try to do one task at a time and set time limits for each task
As a lead or manager, you should know everything about your business, but that does not mean that you barge into every activity your employee is performing and point out mistakes at every step. It is one of the frustrating distractions that take place in the workplace.
It creates anxiety among employees and restricts self-growth and creativity.
Tip to avoid micromanaging your team:
- Let the team figure things out themselves
- Keep tabs on employee improvements
- Keep guiding them in times of need
05. Social media:
Have you ever checked your time spent on social media per day? And how much time do you spend on each application?
On average, internet users spend around 147 minutes per day using social media. Social media distractions can eat most of your working hours. Every notification from friends and family seems to be important and attention-grabbing.
Let’s look at some tips on how you can deal with this workplace distraction.
Tip to overcome distractions from social media:
- Keep your notifications silent or turned off
- Set a specific time frame to use social media and stick top it
- Keep your phone away while working
- Give 30 minutes to stay connected with people
According to Statista, the number of emails sent and received globally are increasing since 2017, and it is expected to increase by 376.4 billion daily by 2025. Emails are the most time-consuming workplace distraction. Many can’t resist themselves to check their mail every time the notification comes. It often results in unfinished tasks and leaves the employee tired.
Tip to overcome distractions from emails:
- Check emails at certain fixed times of the day
- Work in offline mode
- Use the time blocking method and set time for checking and sending emails
Workplace distractions are very common, and they will hardly ever leave your side. But it is upon you how you deal with such distractions and make your time efficient and productive.
You need to identify distractions and make several decisions in a day to deal with them.
Try KonarkPro to stay on track and make your working hours productive. It tracks your time efficiently and helps you develop a timesheet that enables you to track your productivity.