Research shows that the average employee is interrupted every 3 minutes or 50 to 60 times daily. Unfortunately, most of these interruptions are unimportant and offer no value to the company. The worst part is that workplace distractions and disruptions are not only making employees less productive but also significantly contributing to workplace stress, according to experts. This can be a major barrier to business progress. So, how can business owners reduce workplace disruption and improve productivity? Here are four effective ways.
1. Reduce office noise levels
Workplace ambiance noise, especially in open office spaces, is pretty common. Everyday working practices generate noise which builds up quickly as the day progresses. While many workers may be used to workplace noise, studies have shown that it diminishes productivity. Identifying and tackling the major contributing factors is a good way to reduce office noise. For example, are there too many short meetings? Put an end to them. Are the photocopy machines too noisy? Get them serviced. Do people move about too much? Is the busy street noise flooding the office space? Make acoustic upgrades to your office space. For example, you can take advantage of the acoustic properties of fire rated windows to seal off outside noise and create a working space with minimal sound disruptions.
2. Encourage your workers to set task time limits
Email notifications, social media alerts, several calls, and coffee breaks— all these tiny distractions can quickly add up to eat out a chunk of your employees’ work time. One way to limit these disruptions or their effect is to encourage your workers to set time limits on their tasks. That will help them focus on a task until it’s completed before attending to anything else. For example, if a task should take an hour to complete, you can encourage your worker to turn off all notifications on the phone during that period until they complete their task. This approach will also help your workers use their time efficiently.
3. Balance employee collaboration and privacy
The traditional office setup with privacy cubicles appears to be fading away, as many businesses are opting for more open workspaces to enhance collaboration and ideas sharing. But both office setups have their flaws. A traditional office space with cubicles can create cramped spaces, and an open workspace comes with many distractions. The trick is to balance both office setups to promote employee collaboration while offering privacy when needed. Your office setup can have spaces for group work and meetings. But there should also be privacy cubicles for those who need to complete concentration to work.
4. Let your employees decide where they want to work
Not every task needs to be conducted in the office space, especially not when there are too many disruptions at work. Depending on the nature of assigned tasks, allow your workers to choose where they want to work, especially if the work can be done remotely. If someone finds more focus working from home or in a coffee shop, give them that flexibility, as long as it guarantees better results and increased productivity.
Author - Chris
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