Distractions at the office are hardly new, but as screens multiply and managers push frazzled workers to do more with less, it appears as if the problem is worsening and is affecting business.
A Virgin Pulse report of 1,000 employees in the US found 95% of employees are distracted during the workday – 52% are distracted between 1 and 20% of the time during the workday, while 43% are distracted between 21 and 75% or more of the time.
Workday distractions consume more than two hours of the average employees’ day, the report found. The biggest culprits contributing to such distraction? Chatty colleagues, and interrupting technology.
More than five out of 10 (54%) of respondents indicated co-workers who want to socialise are the prime drivers of their distraction.
Additionally, “nearly 45% of respondents cite interruptions like email and text messages as the culprit behind their distraction,” the report stated.
“Others admitted they’re often distracted by the Internet. 31% percent of respondents said non- work related online activities – like shopping, checking social media, and reading blogs or news articles – were responsible for their problems focusing.”
Too many meetings was also cited as a productivity killer, with 25% of respondents stating they was preventing them from focusing.
Citing other studies, the report identified that multitasking as a route to productivity was in fact, also an efficiency-killer, reducing productivity by up to 40%. What did work was staff’s dedication towards maintaining healthy habits.
A whopping 68% of respondents said that proper sleep is the number one way to maintain focus at work – beating out old-fashioned written to-do lists (49%).
“Other healthy habits are key for employees, too. 43% of respondents said taking a walk or fitting in exercise mid-day helped them recharge and get focused on the job.”
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