Employees can waste up to three working hours every day on office distractions. Personal messaging, reading the news, answering to emails, online shopping. There’s always something to draw your staff’s attention from their assignments.
Reducing workplace distractions is hard work, especially if you don’t want to make your employees feel like supervised kids. So, quit the “no phones policy” and don’t try to keep your staff away from social media during working hours at all costs. These methods will put pressure on your workers and will create unnecessary tension inside the office.
Instead, try these simple steps to cut down workplace distractions without pain:
Set Clear Rules About Social Media During Working Hours
Statistics show that people spend more than two hours a day on social networks. No wonder you always see your employees with an eye on their smartphones. Every time the display lights up, they’re ready to check notifications.
Yet, restricting access to social media isn’t going to increase productivity. Even if you set your computers to forget about Facebook, you can’t force your employees to turn off their smartphones during the day. Instead, come up with clear rules about how much time they can dedicate to social media while working.
Organize Less Meetings
Companies spend thousands of hours in meetings. Most of these meetings are unproductive and bring in additional stress for the participants. Unnecessary meetings are a waste of time. You lose important resources coordinating schedules to make room for another meeting. Then your employees use this time to work on other activities or to think about personal problems.
Call for meetings only when they’re necessary. Make sure you have a clear agenda and that you communicate it to all participants beforehand. This way, they’ll have time to prepare. Keep meetings short–no more than an hour to make sure employees remain focused.
Reduce Working Hours on Friday
Studies say, 40 percent of employers let their staff out early on Friday afternoons in the summer. It seems that most employees lose interest in their jobs mostly toward the end of the work day.
Letting your staff finish early on Fridays will motivate them to complete their assignments earlier. After all, employees achieve 80 percent of their goals in 20 percent of the time spent at work. In most cases, this friendly measure won’t bring any additional costs for your business. Most of your employees do small tasks or get distracted on Fridays, they don’t spend this time working on serious projects anyway.
Set Measurable Goals and Clear Milestones
Sometimes, distractions appear when workers feel overwhelmed. Working on large projects consumes a lot of energy and brings little results in the long run. Employees are frustrated and lack motivation. You need to set clear milestones, to be able to count progress and reward your employees for meeting deadlines. Smaller goals allow employees to feel satisfied with their work. This will help them stay focused on the objectives and dedicate more attention to new assignments and tasks.
Reduce Noises in the Office
Cubicles and open offices are a permanent source of noise. In time, this becomes one of the main distractions for office workers. So, you need to control the noise levels, if you wish to make your employees more productive.
One of the easiest way to reduce noise is by asking your staff to be silent while working. Or, you can organize a quiet corner where people in your office can work on their creative tasks.
Discuss with your employees to understand how the background noise in the office interferes with their work. Then decide as a group how to fix the problem efficiently. Some of the most used methods to reduce noise levels are carpets on the flooring, plants, and headphones.
Help Your Employees Stay Organized
When your employees work in a chaotic environment, it’s easier to get distracted by internet and small talk. Furthermore, disorganization causes stress and anxiety. Simple changes can help you organize working spaces to avoid clutter and increase productivity:
- Give your employees storage boxes and containers to keep their desks in order
- Leave room for your staff to move during the day
- Bring more light in the office
Reduce the amount of papers by introducing apps in your daily routine. Apps and business management tools organize all the information your employees need in one place. This way, they don’t need to jump from one tab to another anymore.
Send Fewer Emails to Your Staff
Internal emails are consuming too much time and energy. Employees spend some of their most productive hours reading and answering to emails from their colleagues, instead of focusing on their creative activities.
In most situations, they could spare time and energy with something as simple as a phone call. Encourage your staff to think twice before sending an email. As an employer, you can start by reducing the number of emails you send to them.
Every time your employees answer an email, they waste around 25 minutes. Call them or engage them in face-to-face discussions to reduce the amount of emails going around inside your company.
Small Steps Lead to Big Results
Countering workplace distractions is a permanent challenge for managers and business owners. But, sometimes the simplest methods bring in the best results.
Something as easy as calling instead of writing an email can avoid interruptions and increase productivity. With small steps, you can help your employees make better working habits and lose less time on workplace distractions.