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June 12, 2013

Are You Distracted?

Filed under: General HR Buzz6:00 am

Office workplaces are usually abuzz with activity!  Mostly, we like to think it is productive work, but obstacles sometimes present themselves that slow our momentum and turn into downright distractions!  Then you have those dynamic and unique interpersonal relationships starting as mere acquaintances sharing a common thread (work), but in time, if you are fortunate, you may make new friends.  Studies have shown that your workmates can definitely affect your level of success in the office.

Ask.com recently commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct a study on Office Workplace Productivity.  The study revealed some interesting findings.  61 percent of distractions at work come from noisy colleagues.  With the more prevalent cubicles and openness of office space, 27 percent (in spite of their noisy coworkers) prefer the open room setting.   Curiously, 46 percent reported that while they were physically located close to their colleagues, they communicate electronically with them as opposed to face-to-face conversations.

Another big distraction comes from those friendly, well-meaning coworkers (40 percent) who decide to call an impromptu meeting by stopping at your work station at their convenience.  Speaking of meetings, 24 percent feel they have “meeting fatigue,” from spending more time in meetings talking about work than doing it.  While we all understand the importance of interaction and collaboration with our coworkers, 86 percent of the respondents stated that in order to reach maximum productivity they prefer working alone.

Everyone agrees that uninterrupted focus time is essential for peak productivity.  Our brains operate better when we focus on one thing for a few minutes at a time that allows us to actually think.  Minimizing distractions is difficult, and they won’t ever be completely abolished, but each employee can do their part.  Will you think twice before you open that bag of chips in your cube or when you walk by a coworker’s desk and can’t resist the urge to interrupt them?

What distractions affect your workplace?  We’d like to hear your comments!

Source:  PRNewswire, “New Ask.com Study Reveals Distractions in Workplace,” May 7, 2013.

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