Four common distractions that kill workplace productivity – Enterprise Podcast Network

Listening to the latest shows and scrolling through your social media timeline are acceptable actions during some downtime, but these types of activities aren’t recommended when we’re in the workplace. It’s common to see numerous employees be distracted by several technology-based products in particular, especially as many of them come with constant notifications and perform an array of functionalities.

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Technology isn’t all bad. Innovation has enabled businesses to function better and boost productivity in many ways. Some products can certainly distract an employee from the job at hand, although distractions aren’t limited to the products we wear on our wrists and use to surf the web. Even the smallest distractions can leave an employee firmly off track and result in a less than productive working day. Let’s assess some of the more common options below.


Believe it or not, but although meetings are meant to be productive, they can indeed hinder a working day. For example, Bain & Company found that 15% of workerstime is spent in meetings, with many people feeling like they’re largely a waste of time. As such, it’s important to have meetings when they’re absolutely necessary and not regularly for fairly little reasons. Always consider only inviting key stakeholders too, with a clear purpose and agenda being defined beforehand. If a meeting isn’t planned for, then it can result in a pointless experience.

The internet

This probably comes as no surprise to anyone, but the internet is one of the most common distractions in a working environment. Given the endless possibilities online, workers in probably most sectors around the world are guilty of spending too much time surfing the web. While work emails and messaging applications are important tools for most companies, they can lead toworkers exploring the internet in places that they shouldn’t necessarily be looking at during a typical working day. For food lovers, they might be assessing menu options at a local restaurant before ordering in an Uber Eats when they get home. Likewise, sports fans might be checking out the latest betting odds before a major sporting contest, be it the World Cup in Qatar or Wimbledon. In order to combat any online distractions, companies block certain websites, although that can go down badly. For many, the simple solution is an array of apps, such as Strict Workflow, which limits access to distracting websites and allows people to focus solely on work matters.

Smartphone notifications

Smartphone notifications are linked to the aforementioned internet distraction, although our smartphone devices are typically more popular than our work desk computer. For example, in America, people are said to check their smartphone devices every 12 minutes, which adds up to 80 minutes a day. Whether it’s through a mobile game, a WhatsApp debate, or an argument with a family member, smartphones are a big distraction. Unless it’s a work phone, it’s best switching it off or on silent during the day. Additionally, some workplaces insist that all employees put their devices on airplane mode or consider using apps like Anti-Social which essentially work by disabling distracting apps temporarily.

Office politics

Every working environment is disrupted by the occasional outbreak of office politics, but it’s important to nip it in the bud early. While everyone wants to work in a healthy and welcoming setting, it won’t be possible if favouritism and politics hogs the limelight. If a dog-eat-dog mentality is born off the back of numerous issues, then it could have a damaging effect. Always rely on evidence, such as performance metrics, then nothing can be disputed.

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