Human Resources



Noisy colleagues to show talkative employees are your staff's biggest distraction

Chatty employees are disturbing your staff

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It is every boss’ dream to see his or her employees getting along with one another, but what happens if such camaraderie is the reason for their low productivity?

According to a new survey by Lee Hecht Harrison, talkative employees are the biggest source of annoyance in the workplace, affecting 45% of the 848 American employees polled. Other top distractions included emails and odours, which came in at 18% and 9% respectively.

Also read: Your staff’s 10 biggest workplace distractions

“Serendipitous conversations in the hallway or brief stops by a coworker’s office or cubicle for some chit-chat can yield tremendous benefits in terms of collaboration, generating new ideas, creating trust and increasing productivity,” Jim Greenway, executive vice president for marketing and sales effectiveness at Lee Hecht Harrison, said. “However, too much talk can also be a distraction as our survey found.”

The survey also highlighted telephone calls (8%) and ambient noise (6%) disturb employees in the workplace, followed by office design and technology at 5% and 4% respectively.

The report explained disruptions and distractions develop when a talkative coworker lacks self-awareness, fails to understand boundaries and doesn’t know how to read body language.

“Overly talkative coworkers usually have no idea how annoying they are to their colleagues,” Greenway added.

“They simply lack the self-awareness to recognise the signals. It’s important to be aware of the things we say and do. We must pay attention to non-verbal and environmental clues and set limits that are respectful of our colleagues’ time.”

Read more: The 3 most common workplace distractions

Image: Shutterstock

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