The 10 biggest distractions in the office

The 10 biggest distractions in the office

Do you ever wonder what you do with your time at work? You start the day with a neatly written ‘to do’ list and it all seems perfectly achievable. Then before you know it, you’ve reached the end of the day and not a single thing has been ticked off.

It’s not through lack of trying – you’ve been busy all day but what with one thing and another, you’ve just not managed to be that productive. If this sounds familiar, take a look at our top ten worst office distractions and how you can combat them.

 

Chat, chat, chat

Some people just like to talk too much! If you’re sat by someone who can talk the hind leg off a donkey, it can be irritating to say the least, but also make it impossible for you to concentrate and get things done. Be honest. Just say politely that you’re really busy, don’t have time to talk and perhaps suggest you meet up at lunchtime so you can hear all their important news.

Let’s schedule a meeting…

…to talk about when we’re going to meet up and arrange the next meeting. Meetings are an essential part of office life but they need a clear purpose, agenda and time limit. If your company seems to have meetings for meeting’s sake and it’s sucking up too much of your valuable time, don’t be afraid to question the need for it or whether you need to be involved.

Too much noise

Whilst some people can work quite happily with a lot of noise, for others it’s impossible. If you’re distracted by colleagues who talk too loudly, by the office joker who finds everything hilarious, or the sales team who think a bit of drum and base makes the perfect background noise, you need to act. Perhaps suggest creating different zones where people can work more quietly or plug in your earphones and tune into something more calm inducing.

The dreaded inbox

Sometimes emails can feel like the bane of our life. Whilst they’re a speedy way of communicating, they can also seriously clog up your day. Check what emails you’re sending and receiving and how necessary they are. If you’re copied in on hundreds that you really don’t need to see, make it a work-wide decision to only copy in people who really need to be involved.

Social media and the internet

In most offices, you’ll have free access to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or sites like Pinterest. Whilst you might think you can dip in and out of what you’re doing to look at your mate’s pictures of the weekend or the latest funny cat videos, these distractions can suck up hours of your day. According to the Office of National Statistics, once you’ve been distracted by something, it can take you 23 minutes to get back into your most productive work mode. Be firm with yourself. Save social media for lunchtime or while you’re having a coffee break and then close down all the open tabs and notifications so you’re not tempted to keep checking in.

Some like it hot

If your office is as hot as a sauna or like sitting in an igloo, you’re bound to find it hard to concentrate. It’s thought that people work best at a temperature between 16°C and 24°C. However Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg likes to keep the temperature low at 15 degrees to stop ‘cyber-loafing’ and it’s been reported that he makes his employees so uncomfortable they have no option but to actually do their work! Talk to your boss if the office temperature is having an effect on productivity. They’ll soon sort something out.

Are you sitting comfortably?

It’s hard to concentrate if you’re stopping every five minutes because your back is aching or your neck is as stiff as a board. If you have a health and safety representative, make sure they give you guidance on working safely. You can also have a look at our ergonomically designed chairs which make an amazing difference. Designed with substantial lumbar support you can ensure you work comfortably with distraction from aches and pains.

Too busy to eat

When you’re rushing to get work done, it’s all too easy to skip lunch and forget to eat. That won’t do you any favours. We need fuel and hydration to aid concentration so it’s much better to take a short break, get something nutritious to eat and then be ready to set off again at full speed. You can also keep a few good snacks in your drawer - dried fruit or cereal bars are perfect.

Phones

If the phones are ringing constantly or you’re getting a constant stream of calls, you don’t stand a chance of being productive. Perhaps take it in turns with your colleagues to intercept calls and only put through those that are essential, or see if you can move to another office for a few hours to really power through some work without being disturbed.

Christmas

This is one distraction we all love. However, it’s hard to knuckle down when there’s there’s so much talk of; Christmas jumpers, parties, Secret Santa and you have tinsel draped around your screen. Try to enjoy the excitement and build up to all the festivities but remember there’s work to be done before you can really let loose.

You can distract us any time

At Rainbow Zebra, we’re always happy to take your call or stop what we’re doing for a chat. If you need advice about our bad back chairs or any other office furniture, storage or accessories, just give us a call on 0800 092 1985 and we’ll be delighted to help you.

Posted by Paul Randall
19th December 2015