It’s time to be realistic and admit that the office can be an extraordinarily distracting place. Constant meetings and discussions, phones ringing, and emails hitting the inbox can all seem overwhelming. With so much going on, how can you get the most work done while still remaining in contact with your co-workers?
Here are four of the most distracting things about working in the office environment, and how you can resolve them without losing productivity.
How many of your employees receive unbelievable amounts of email every day? Keeping up can be a challenging and distracting part of the workday. Of course, you don’t need us to tell you that email is tricky to manage properly. As a business owner, you probably have to check your email both in and out of the office to keep up. Here’s the real question, though; if you’re constantly checking your email, how can you get anything done?
One way to stop worrying about email is to check your inbox only three times a day, rather than being pulled away from your current task every time you see a new image appear in your email. This eliminates the stress of providing immediate responses, and you’ll be less distracted throughout the workday. Try setting aside some time that’s dedicated just to emails. Do so once in the morning, again around midday, and one last time before you leave the office at the end of the day. You might be surprised by how much more productive you will be during the workday. If you’re still having a hard time letting go, just think of it this way; if something is truly important, you’ll receive a phone call or an IM from a co-worker, rather than an email.
People Collaborating or in Meetings Constantly
It’s difficult to imagine this being an issue, but it’s a distraction nonetheless. If your team is using an open office environment, where cubicles are removed in favor of a more open and collaborative experience, people are more likely to communicate and work together. This might be helpful for some departments that are constantly working together, but other autonomous departments that don’t need to collaborate as often will find this to be nothing but a nuisance. When your employees can’t focus, nothing gets done.
To resolve this problem, your office should have dedicated meeting rooms that can be scheduled out and used at your team’s leisure. This keeps the office quiet so that your other teams can concentrate without listening to irrelevant conversations. If you have a BYOD policy put into place, and your team has laptops or other mobile devices that they can use, you can let them choose where to work in your office (even outside, if it’s nice out).
Chatter and Gossip
People like to communicate and talk to each other while in the office to break up the monotony of the workday. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but it can become one if it grows out of hand. People like to talk and be distracted by fun conversations, so even the most diligent worker can find themselves falling into this trap. In the open office environment, it becomes all too easy to lose time to conversation.
There are two simple solutions to this issue: 1) Give employees the option to leave the room and work elsewhere, or 2) Provide them with an excellent, comfy pair of headphones that allows them to get lost in music for a few hours.
You could be the best employee in the world, and the Internet will drag you away from productivity into its gutters if you aren’t careful. Social media and streaming services like YouTube or Vine can also be huge distractions with a seemingly endless amount of content. Therefore, you need to take responsibility and make sure that your employees know how to manage their time properly.
Even if you educate your team on how best to approach social media in the office, you might still run into the odd problem employee, who simply won’t stop wasting time on the Internet. For these frustrating employees, a web content filtering solution can limit website access on a per-user basis. This helps to allow responsible employees to indulge in some casual browsing on occasion, while keeping less-diligent employees away from time-wasting websites.
For more information, give us a call at (973) 882-4644.