What they are and how to overcome them.

Fellows have polled 1,250 adults with the view to find out the most popular distractions in the workplace. This poll found that productivity in UK offices is at a low with 25% claiming that up to two hours per day they are unproductive.

The top 10 office distractions:

  1. Colleagues (48%) Becoming friends with colleagues is always a good starting point for making the workplace more enjoyable, however it is important to remember that the gossip can wait until the coffee break
  2. Emails (28%) Email is convenient, but it is not always a necessity. Replace 10 emails with a five-minute conversation
  3. Mobile phones (24%) Sometimes the ‘ping’ of a mobile phone is unavoidable
  4. Questions, questions, questions (21%) Constant questions from colleagues i.e. “Can you show me how to transfer a call?” “Why is my screen not working?” etc. can be a distraction and sometimes impact your workload
  5. Talking across the room (17%) When you’re trying to focus, people talking over you about what they had for dinner last night and how the football is going, can be one of the biggest distractions. Especially when you want to put your opinion in there too
  6. “Shall I put the kettle on?” (14%) A little chat, a stretch of the legs and a break from your desk. It’s never a quick break is it?
  7. Eating at desks (10%) Leave your food for lunch and break times! Nothing worse than smelly food in the office and scoffing it while you’re trying to answer your 10th email from Janet in accounts
  8. Facebook (9%) No comment
  9. WhatsApp/Messengers (6%) Mute. That. Group. Chat. It’s only Tuesday, your weekend plans can wait until break time
  10. Current affairs (5%) Knowing what is going on in the world can seem productive, but will it help you finish your to-do list?

The top 10 ways to overcome office distractions:

  1. Less pointless meetings (24%) Having essential team members present allows the meeting to run quickly and smoothly and allows the rest of the team to get on with their workload
  2. Environment (19%) If you can find a way to keep your employees comfortable and stop the across office conversations and outside voices inside, employees may find it easier to stay on task
  3. Breaks (17%) Sounds questionable at the outset, but if a break is coming up in 10 minutes they might be able to wait till then to check their phone
  4. Communication (16%) Avoids duplication and misunderstandings that cost time
  5. Management (16%) A good manager knows when their teams are under pressure and can help in reducing office distractions or allowing flexible working to minimise distractions, or enlist more help to reduce pressure
  6. Flexible working (16%) To make the most of flexible working, you need the technology
  7. Equipment (15%) Ensure that the equipment available is what is needed to complete day-to-day tasks without any issues i.e. breaking down every couple of hours
  8. Holidays (15%) Time out of the office can restore your productivity levels and reduce stress
  9. To-do lists (13%) Trying to make people do a little of everything can be counterproductive, let people focus on what they are good at
  10. Duvet days (11%) Mental health is very important, and the odd unplanned day off can do wonders for a person’s outlook and productivity in the workplace

Which distractions do you notice in your workplace? Would you use any of the solutions to counteract these distractions?

If you recognise some of these in your workplace our consultants can advise you how you can implement changes in your businesses. Call us on 0345 076 2288