Employee engagement and company culture are hot topics in the world of business these days. However, it’s hard to talk about these topics without also talking about distractions in the workplace. That’s because distractions are tearing apart company cultures and driving employee engagement down. This is common knowledge, but nobody is doing anything about it! To truly increase your productivity, and thereby company culture, you must take action to reduce distractions in the workplace. No matter what industry you are involved in, distractions are killing productivity.
A 2012 Gallup survey revealed that engaged employees make 37% fewer errors, they have 48% lower absenteeism, and they account for 62% of an organization’s sales. The same study found that companies with low engagement levels spend 22% more on health care costs than their highly engaged counterparts. Additionally, only 29% of workers who were actively disengaged were satisfied with their jobs. Check out the Gallup Poll Here.
We often see social media and our cell phones as major causes of distractions, but there’s a lot more that can wreak havoc on productivity. Employee dissatisfaction, poor management and a lack of clear goals can all lead to a degradation of culture. When employees aren’t engaged, they don’t feel like they have anything to contribute. A distracted employee is also likely less productive than an engaged one. You should be helping you employer should take steps to foster positive company cultures. Happy employees feel connected to their peers and managers. this results in getting more out of your team, reducing potential distractions, and making your workplace a better place for everyone.
Identify which distractions may be hurting your focus at work. Here’s a list of common workplace distractions: Emails, social media (Facebook and Twitter), news sites, messaging programs like Slack, video chat, music services, games on company computers/phones—the list goes on. But if you can identify your biggest offenders and manage your expectations around them accordingly, you can reduce their pull on your attention. For example, do you find that browsing YouTube keeps popping up as an irresistible distraction? Then don’t bring your browser to work! Have no interest in checking out Facebook from work? Be disciplined about removing it from your desktop so it won’t call to you every time you pass by. Simple as that! Do whatever it takes to make sure it doesn’t interfere with what matters most: getting stuff done.
1. Keep your goals top of mind. Set aside a few minutes each day to look at your company’s bigger picture, from overall mission and values to key initiatives or department goals. This helps remind you what you’re working toward on a day-to-day basis, which can keep you focused during stressful periods or when it’s hard to see how daily work fits into that larger framework.
2. Take time to get organized. Keeping your desk tidy—and digital inbox under control—can help put things in perspective by allowing you to focus on what’s truly important.
3. Make healthy habits routine. Have a standing meeting with yourself where you review upcoming deadlines, tasks and projects—and set realistic goals for yourself that align with company priorities and long-term plans for growth.
4. Prioritize participation over perfection. It’s easy to get bogged down by detail-oriented tasks, so if you find yourself obsessing over punctuation, grammar or other minutiae while trying to complete a project, try switching gears and doing something else instead—anything else! Taking breaks is essential when productivity flags.
5. Talk with colleagues as often as possible. Research shows that informal conversations with co-workers have real benefits: they make workers happier, boost job satisfaction and improve performance.
You may think that you can multitask, but studies have shown that we’re just not wired to do so. In fact, our brains work much better when we focus on one thing at a time. Unfortunately, living in a world with constant distractions can make it hard to focus on even one task for very long. The solution? Create a distraction-free area for focused work (try a quiet room or an empty conference room) and turn off your phone and computer before entering that space.