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Managing Workplace Distractions

Tips on Managing Workplace Distractions as a Business Owner

Digitalism has officially taken over in recent years and has managed to seep its way into workplaces contributing to the list of leading reasons why employees lack productivity.

These forms of distraction are detrimental to team focus and your business’s operations ultimately impacting your profitability in both the long and short term.

With technological reliance and addiction on the increase, it can be difficult to steer employees away from their devices and counter-productive activity.

Here are seven ways you can manage distractions in your office and narrow the focus back to delivering a quality work output.

Set manageable goals

Failing to set measurable, accountable and most importantly, realistic goals for a business and it’s team can be damaging to both employee morale and efficiency.

Oftentimes in order for workers to complete these goals, they may have to use their devices including social media accounts.

This may seem like your encouraging what you’re trying to stamp out, however it’s better for employees to be utilising platforms for monitorable, work related tasks rather than other anti-productive purposes.

Allowing teams too much freedom with recreational device use will see your workdays extend beyond what’s necessary and productivity plummet.

Hold meetings later in the day

Numerous studies have revealed that the majority of employees in white-collar fields feel a sense of increased productivity levels earlier in the day. Perhaps this is derived from energy and motivational levels being at their peak, experiencing a slump by the afternoon.

Employees will get more done if you allow them to channel into their work first thing in the morning instead of wasting this high level of focus sitting in a meeting or on a lengthy conference call. This also integrates with our fifth tip discussed shortly, explaining how open communication provides an understanding of what is or isn’t working for employees.

Allocate specific time slots for tasks

Drawing up a to-do list seems like it should be a no-brainer. However, it’s quite common for employees to lack the initiative in writing (or typing), themselves a task list for the workday ahead.

Having the day’s or week’s tasks already planned out with allocated time slots promotes the concept that your requirements are ‘fixed’ leading to improved productivity. If employees feel as though there’s a deadline for each job, it should assist them in making them a priority.

Introduce a work from home option

Not only do you create improved flexibility for your team, but rather a safer work environment for you and your entire staff in light of the COVID crisis.

Allowing the office to choose a work from home option offers freedom, alleviates stress and can enhance productivity with an improved work-life balance.

Depending on the nature of your business and given current global circumstances, your workplace itself could be the underlying distraction for your team, or at least contributing to the problem in some way.

Encouraging short breaks by dividing the week between home and office space could provide the productivity boost your business needs.

Communicate with your employees

Open discussions with workers about how they’re feeling at work, their issues and improvement recommendations can generate a more caring, genuine and employee-centric culture amongst your workplace.

Your employees might surprise you and often have tips on how to reduce distraction levels and increase productivity with what they’re working on. It’s time for business owners and management to take charge and offer open communication methods for workers to speak their mind.

One of the most significant struggles for employees is not possessing the power to influence change or manage their career direction with confidence. Try to find out as much as possible from your team’s perspective to eliminate social or other stress-induced distractions from the office.

Limit social media access

This may be the most monumentally challenging strategy of all; the distraction of social media. Establishing limitations and boundaries that clearly outline productivity expectations and restrictions regarding social media usage is an absolute must.

While there is software that can be installed on office systems to essentially limit and block certain websites, personal devices unfortunately will trump these restrictive methods every time.

There may not be a viable way to get rid of these habits completely, however training and encouragement to utilise social media for purposes that benefit your business are your best option.

The idea here is to convert a disruptive behaviour into profitable assets. Look into developing a new marketing campaign or other socially interactive digital advertising and turn your employee’s habits into something advantageous.

Start measuring productivity

Policies can help manage productivity in an office environment which are especially effective when combined with employee monitoring software.

It’s proven that workplaces that have implemented permanent social media restrictions see a dramatic drop in distractions.

With the likes of Facebook and Instagram to thank for social platform addiction, digital and personal device related distractions are now the number one difficulty employers face regarding lost productivity.

It may seem a little harsh to implement such strict policies on your work environment. However, at the end of the day you’re in business and employ a team for a reason and should remind yourself that a healthy balance between work and play is vital to your success.

While social media and multi-tasking using mobile devices can prove effective with some business activities, it’s important to have a line drawn as the boss.

An incredibly high percentage of workers say they feel distracted while at work which is bad news for business operators unless you’ve got a plan in place.

Utilise some of our top tips, implement some new strategies and get your business back on track by cutting out the disruptions effectively!

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