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Top 10 factors that interfere the work in the office

This year, most people have tried to work remotely at home. Someone like this more, someone less. Therefore, now there are “two camps”: some employees don't want to return to their offices, and others miss so much the office atmosphere that they use online office noise generators.


1. Chatty colleagues, smartphones and the Internet: what interfere the effective workflow?

2. What is office noise?

3. The street noise

4. Messengers and email

5. Social networks

6. Frequent meetings and councils

7. Personal issues

8. Snacks and smoke breaks

9. How to eliminate distractions?

Some large companies, such as Google, plan to leave everyone on the remote work until the end of 2020. The others, gradually return their employees to work in the office. After all, it is considered that working “at the work” is more productive.

Despite this opinion, there are many factors that spoil the working atmosphere, reduce the concentration and efficiency of work. So what can interfere your work in the office?

Chatty colleagues, smartphones and the Internet: what interfere the effective workflow?

According to many researches, excessive talkativeness of coworkers and office noise inhibit the concentration process the most. For example, a recent survey by Future Workplace found that 76% of employees are distracted by colleagues who talk loudly on the phone or solve their personal issues near them.

Another leader in reducing attention and concentration is free Internet access. Although this is necessary for all the companies, every third employee cannot resist the temptation to be distracted by Internet.

When persons are distracted every few minutes to check the smartphone — they are exposed to one of the most dangerous factors that prevent them from working productively. After all, gadgets not only steal our working time, but also we loose the time to re-focus and enter the workflow again.

What is the office noise?

Loud laugh of talkative colleagues, the sound of a coffee machine, keyboard clicks, and hundreds of other sounds create office noise. We lose up to 86 minutes a day being distracted by harsh sounds. In addition to the fact that it significantly distracts from the work, it can also lead to the accumulation of stress, fatigue, irritability, a decrease in the psychological climate in the team, etc. About 85% of office workers complain about the office environment. After all, any harsh sound acts as a distraction and irritating factor.

At the same time, according to an experiment conducted at the University of Illinois, a noise about 70 dB can positively influence creative thinking.

The street noise 

Street noise is no less harmful for productive work. Passing cars, shouting children, loud music – all these sounds can get into the office. Despite the fact that such noise distracts only 7% of employees, its effect on the body is very serious. The fact is that under the influence of various street sounds, we are not only distracted from our main work, but also experience stress. Street noise puts pressure on our psyche, resulting in the rush of stress hormones: cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline. This causes irritability, headache, and insomnia. And sometimes much more serious diseases.

Messengers and email

While working, we have to analyze a huge amount of information. Therefore, by loading the brain with additional messages from email or social networks, we reduce our own effectiveness. By the way, about 34% of employees experience strong stress because of the need to respond to work emails as quickly as possible. For example, from the authorities. Living in this multitasking mode not only affects your overall performance, but also your ability to focus. Moreover, this activity gives the impression that you were quite productive during the day. But unfortunately, this is far from the reality.

Try to pay attention to how many times you have to be distracted from work because of the notification of a new email.

What prevents you from working in the office. Picture 1.

Social networks

If email checking is most often related to work – the social networks clearly interfere the workflow.

According to a survey by HeadHunter, the social networks is exactly that interfere the concentration of employees in the office. The fact is that such kind of mental relief doesn't have a positive effect on our brain, but on the contrary can negatively affect the quality of tasks and provoke burning deadlines. After all, from "rest" in social networks to procrastination is one step.

Frequent meetings and councils

According to a study by the University of North Carolina, more than 71% of employees consider frequent meetings to be completely ineffective. In today's "office world", there are many ways to set, explain and discuss the tasks online. Various programs, CRM systems, etc. are used for this purpose. For example, a simple time tracker Checkiant will help you easily keep tracking of working hours and earned money for all projects, analyze the effectiveness of both an individual employee and the wholeteam, monitor compliance with deadlines, and so on. In addition, this application is also equipped with a video conference. Therefore, using such a time tracker can completely replace most meetings.

Of course, in many companies, you can find morning meetings where plans for the upcoming workinbecayse day are discussed. But the frequent working meetings and councils during the day can significantly reduce productivity. For example, the consulting firm Bain & Company found that 63% of such meetings do not have discussions of important information. In addition, employees explain their conducting quite simply — "because we have to”. Whether it is a tradition of the company or just inefficient planning, the fact remains that frequent meetings are one of the main reasons that interfere the work in the office.

Personal issues

If you want to work productively and have also productive day-off, use the Golden rule: do business during working hours, and put personal issues aside for the evening or weekend. Solving any personal questions distracts not only from the performance of your duties. If you work in open space, the entire office will witness your problems. And this, in turn, harms the concentration of the entire team. In its survey by EurAsia Daily, the company showed that 25% of employees can't stop being distracted precisely because of personal problems.

Snacks and smoke breaks

Many employees have bad habits. In addition to the unpleasant smell, which can affect the condition of colleagues, such breaks take up to 8 hours a week. And this is a whole working day. In addition, it also takes time to return to the workflow. And constant snacking not only affects concentration, but also the figure. After all, working in the office, basically, does not portend physical activity to keep fit. In General, about 27% of employees complain that this is what distracts them and interfere the working productively.

This list of reasons why productivity falls can be continued for a long time. This can also include gossip from colleagues and the general situation in the office. However, there is always a way to fix it.

How to eliminate distractions?

Despite the fact that everyone, even the most hard-working employees, is distracted in the workplace, the negative impact of distractions can be significantly reduced by dividing them into 2 groups.

  1. Those that can be solved by the employee himself.
  2. Those that depend only on the boss and the provided working conditions.

What can an employee do to eliminate factors that interfere the work?

First of all, it is important to understand what exactly leads to low productivity and loss of concentration.

  • During working time, you should turn your smartphone to Do Not Disturb mode. This will eliminate the temptation to constantly checking messengers and messages in social networks.
  • Plan your breaks. For example, you can use the Pomodorro technique.
  • Clean up your workplace. Chaos on the table doesn't contribute to mental activity. Try to keep your workplace clean.
  • Protect Yourself from any irritants. If colleagues disturb youor office and street noises distract, use headphones. Sounds of nature, music for concentration, etc., are great for concentrating.
  • Avoid multitasking. Working on multiple tasks at the same time doesn't help you complete them quickly. Complete each task in order of importance. This way, you will be less distracted and will have more time.

Improving working conditions by superiors

Managers who care about their employees need to pay special attention to the reasons that serve as distractions.

  • First of all, you should create a comfortable atmosphere in the office. Too close arrangement of tables, depressing interior, lack of windows and air conditioning doesn't contribute to productivity growth.
  • Develop your office technologically. Outdated equipment causes stress, no less than chatty colleagues.
  • Create additional conditions to minimize stress. A comfortable recreation room, corporate events and a well-designed motivation system will significantly improve the general condition of the employees and contribute to high-quality work.
  • Replace outdated communication methods. Most companies have already applied the using of special applications for tracking working hours, corporate communication, and tasks setting. Many of them are easy to use and are inexpensive or even free. Moreover, all of them significantly increase the efficiency of each employee.
  • Set disciplinary rules that are appropriate for your team.

Knowing about the main difficulties that hinder the work and how to solve them, working in the office and improving your business will become much easier.

See also:

Top 10 factors that affect productivity

How to easily and effectively organize your workflow at home

How to control employees’ work. Checkiant - a simple time tracking program

Who is responsible for happiness at work?