6 WORK PLACE DISTRACTIONS AND HOW YOU CAN BEAT THEM

Just how much productivity or mental energy is lost through time each day by these 6 common distractions? The answer can’t be quantified but it is easy to say, a lot. Some of these distractions may be new and some are as old as work itself.

One key to saving this lost production is becoming aware of what it is that is redirecting your thought process and causing you to be distracted in the first place.

As human beings, there are some things that we let roll off our shoulders and other things that burn to our core. Not everyone notices the same distractions but everyone can be distracted, some easier than others. It’s time to take a closer look at what is diverting our attention and find a simple and easy way of combating it…

LIGHT

Too much light or not enough light can be a safety hazard, affect the quality of work and even become a health hazard. Light can strain the eyes and cause minor discomfort like headaches. Glare, flicker and insufficient natural light could all be contributing to distracting your workforce.

A great way to light up any space is to put up some mirrors. Using the natural light to bounce around your office can save on the electrical bill, make your space look bigger and natural light is always better than artificial light.

Working below ground? Try installing dimmer switches to help control ‘time of day’ sensations. Don’t let a boring or distracting lighting scheme take away from your office productivity, spruce it up and get creative if you need to.

MEETINGS

A great alternative to ‘meetings’ is to visit the group in smaller numbers and have a huddle. If you have a team of 15, walk around and meet with them in groups of 5. Smaller meetings can help reduce time lost and help emphasize the importance of the message.

There are many times when employees can be in their groove and suddenly thrown off by a pop meeting. Always try to give advance warning of meetings and always best to cater if possible. Food will always bring people around a table.

Remember to make sure your staff leave with the message. The whole reason they are there is to take something away.

CELL PHONE

This is obvious. They disrupt the meetings your trying to hold, they have 80 different alerts and notifications and they’re the number one device used to engage with social media. Enough said.

Try putting your phone on silent, airplane mode or leave it in the drawer. They are literally designed to distract you.

A feel-good chemical called dopamine is released every time we check things like Facebook or text, similar to completing minor tasks.

You don’t want to implement harsh cell phone restrictions at your office but you do want your employees to be focused and that can be achieved in other ways.

HUNGER

Being hungry can alter your energy levels, keep you distracted and lower brain functions like attention span and thought process. It’s important to eat and nibble between meals to keep focused, feeling alert and strong enough to operate at your best at work.

Staff members have different diets but there are some things they all could probably use more of. Avoid junk food and provide healthy office snacks to help fight off mid-day fatigue, hangry outbreaks and let staff refuel when they need to with healthier options.

Set up a snack budget for the office and order directly for everyone or set up a ‘pay-n-go’ system with employees and organize a snack station.

Keep your team onsite and out of drive-thru lines. Save everyone’s time, money and get on the healthy snacking band wagon.

CLUTTER

Having desk clutter is never good unless it’s piles of signed contracts or product orders. Usually it’s garbage, loose pens, office tools, crumbs, temporary objects, personal items or worse, unfinished work.

Either way, it can be mentally draining to remember, find, organize and search through clutter. It’s time to get organzied!

Clean up the desk, take out the trash and keep things tidy. Your sparkling efforts will give you the same dopamine kick that you’re getting from your cell phone.

NOISE

Try to create some spaces that are purely for working and getting things done and other spaces for relaxing and shooting the breeze.

A nice perk to offer employees are earphones. Nothing expensive but something they can use to drown out distracting outside noise, sounds and conversations. It also gives them the opportunity to listen to music at their desk.

Put your copier, printing, fax machine and any other office equipment in a separate room away from your work floor. Remove those irritating bleeps and bloop sounds and redirect foot traffic to limit minor chit chat

Distractions can’t be avoided but they can be minimized. It is well worth the effort to make changes around the office that eliminate workplace distractions limiting production. Racing teams will look for any way to gain a 0.001 second advantage over their competition in the race and running a company is much the same. Use what you can to tap into the lost production pool that consistently refills itself everyday.