Employee Distractions Reaching Epidemic Levels

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 03-25-2014 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

With 24/7/365 access to the Internet and social media—not to mention a relentless barrage of incoming e-mails—employees are constantly facing challenges when it comes to workplace distractions. In fact, the average professional sends and receives 105 e-mails a day, and check their in-boxes 36 times an hour, research shows. As for social media? More than three of four workers with a Facebook account use it during work, and spend up to two hours a day on the site. All of this is taking a toll on workplace productivity, according to a new survey from Webtrate, as the majority of survey participants say they'd accomplish more if they could just shut down the Internet for at least part of the day. "It seems we are increasingly looking to satiate our desire for new information by constantly checking social media, e-mails and the web," says Will Little, founder of Webtrate, which gives users the option to block their access to the Internet for certain time periods. "This thrill of finding out something new is so powerful that it can get in the way of pressing and important work." While there are tech solutions which can help you stay on track at work, you can also encourage your tech teams adopt some of the following best practices from the site Lifehack. An estimated 3,000 U.S. workers participated in the Webtrate survey. For more about the Lifehack tips, click here

 
 
 
  • Attention Deficit

    62% say they've been distracted from doing work on their computers by checking e-mails, browsing the Web and engaging with social media.
    Attention Deficit
  • Clock Mismanagement

    36% say these distractions cost them more than an hour each day in lost productivity.
    Clock Mismanagement
  • Second Thoughts

    59% admit that the reduction in productivity causes them dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
    Second Thoughts
  • Senior Moment

    63% say they'll lose their chain of thought because they were checking on e-mail or social media when they were supposed to be working on something substantial.
    Senior Moment
  • Rash Decision

    53% feel that checking their e-mail and social media while trying to get work finished reveals a worrying lack of impulse control.
    Rash Decision
  • Offline Session

    71% think they'd get more done if they could disconnect from the Internet for a period of time every day.
    Offline Session
  • Best Practices for Staying Focused: A Daily To-Do List

    Always keep a list of what must be accomplished today in front of you, like on the side of your computer screen.
    Best Practices for Staying Focused: A Daily To-Do List
  • Best Practices for Staying Focused: Do the Tough Stuff First

    Whittle down that to-do list by tackling the toughest jobs first. You're at your most productive during the first hour of work every day.
    Best Practices for Staying Focused: Do the Tough Stuff First
  • Best Practices for Staying Focused: Set Boundaries With Others

    The only way to get people to stop pestering you with distracting e-mails and social-media postings is to politely make it clear that you need to focus on your duties and can't respond until later.
    Best Practices for Staying Focused: Set Boundaries With Others
  • Best Practices for Staying Focused: Press the Mute Button

    We often let e-mail and social media sidetrack us whenever we hear that alert "ding." So silence the computer and other devices—and get your work done.
    Best Practices for Staying Focused: Press the Mute Button
  • Best Practices for Staying Focused: Organize Your E-mails

    Have a separate account for work and another for your personal life—and use only the work one during work hours.
    Best Practices for Staying Focused: Organize Your E-mails
 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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