From smartphones to social media, in today’s business world there’s an overabundance of distractions, and distracted employees.

We ourselves get distracted all the time, so when we catch absent-minded employees gossipping around a desk, while it absolutely doesn’t make us jump for joy, we can relate and cut them some slack.

Having said that, the drag of distractions will slowly pull your business’s growth behind competitors, so it’s crucial that you keep employees focused.

Here’s a look at the four biggest workplace distractions – according to a CareerBuilder study of 2,100 hiring managers and 3,000 employees.

1. Mobile phones

With smartphones so common today, it’s no wonder that 50 percent of those surveyed believed texting and mobile phone usage was the biggest killer of productivity in the office.

According to the Pew Research Center, 64% of US adults owned smartphones in 2015  while a survey by SDL found people between 18 and 36 check their phone 43 times a day on average.

2. Office Gossip

42 percent of respondents found gossip in the workplace to be their biggest distraction. Many offices feature open workplaces, which is of course, great for collaboration, but also unnecessary gossip.

From being drawn into gossip themselves, to having to hear negative gossiping from co-workers, yapping with colleagues is clearly a huge drain on work time and conceivably morale.

3. The Internet

It’s no real surprise that the Internet was the main distraction for 39 percent of people. With so many jobs requiring regular internet use, and smartphones offering access away from the desk, the internet is a pervasive and easily accessible source of distraction.

The internet was practically built for distraction. In just a few clicks, employers can go from working to being sucked into an endless stream of cat memes or cute baby videos.

4. Social Media

Just behind the Internet, social media was the nemesis of 38 percent of those surveyed. With messages and push notifications coming from various social media networks and apps, social media can be astonishingly distracting.

And being social animals, social media has a particular draw for us. People spend an average of 1.72 hours on social media every day, according to research by GlobalWebIndex.

Dealing with distractions

So what can you do as an employer to minimise these types of distractions?

One of the best ways to get an understanding of exactly what is distracting your employees and put measures in place to limit them is to use employee monitoring software.

This kind of software can be installed remotely on all of your employees’ computers, smartphones, and tablets where it can monitor exactly what apps and websites they use. For example, KnowIT can also generate personalized productivity reports. Managers can get a very good idea of what the main distractions are and even block certain websites or apps.

Over to you

Using the comments section below, please tell us how you think focus in the workplace can be regained

 

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