Running a growing business in the post-Covid era is a challenging task. You need to offer flexible work arrangements and meet the needs of your employees unless you want to face soaring turnover rates.
At the same time, you need to ensure that your remote workers acquire the specific skills to stay highly productive in digitized workplaces.
But, more importantly, you need to find ways to fight various digital distractions that can easily ruin your employees’ focus, bringing down their productivity.
Yes, this to-do list may sound overwhelming. And you may want to reach for your phone and check your Instagram feed just to avoid thinking about it for a while.
And that’s exactly what your employees may do when they feel overwhelmed or stressed about their workload or specific tasks. This isn’t surprising, knowing that various distractions lurk from every corner of a digital workplace threatening to ruin your productivity.
For this reason, we decided to offer you insight into the way distractions affect your team productivity. Also, you’ll find here efficient ways to battle this issue and keep your productivity level high.
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How Digital Distractions Slow Down Employee Productivity
It’s a well-known fact that distractions affect employee performance and prevent productivity growth. John Nixon, from the Bank of England, has compiled relevant evidence in his essay on this topic, showing that employees tend to touch their phones from two times each minute to once every seven minutes.
Furthermore, trying to focus on tasks while being interrupted by emails or video calls can reduce employees’ IQ by ten points, as opposed to working without interruptions. This is equivalent to trying to deliver quality work after a sleepless night.
And when you know that an average employee needs about half an hour to regain focus after being distracted, you’ll get a clearer picture of the devastating effect distractions can have on employees’ productivity and performance.
How Can You Efficiently Limit Distractions in the Workplace?
So how can you fight this serious issue and get your employee productivity back on track?
You can choose the restrictive approach to the problem and block all the social media platforms and other potentially distracting websites during work hours. But this measure can be counterproductive, making your employees feel controlled and dissatisfied and driving them to complete disengagement.
Or you can invest in advanced employee control software and gain a better understating of your employees’ Internet usage. This tool will keep track of all the apps and websites your employees use daily, dividing them into productive, neutral, and unproductive. You will be free to change these labels according to the employees’ roles in your company.
For instance, Facebook is commonly labelled as unproductive, but employees from your sales teams can use it productively to seek contact information or to check out the competition. The same reasoning applies to your designers, who can spend some time watching useful YouTube videos and tutorials.
Once you get data-based monitoring reports on Internet usage, you can have confidential one-on-ones with your employees that spend too much time on unproductive websites, showing them firsthand how distractions affect their productivity.
Then, you can limit the time dedicated to social media, recommending your employees to use break time for checking their Instagram accounts.
Digital distractions are all around us. While they can offer employees a short-term relief and diversion from serious issues they need to tackle, in the long run, distractions will shatter their focus and ruin their productivity.
So before you decide to reach for the restrictive solutions, think twice, because this measure can be counterproductive. Opt for implementing an employee monitoring tool instead of tracking all the potential digital distractions that prevent your employees from committing to tasks and projects.
Then use this insight to have an open and honest conversation with your employees about the negative impact of distractions on their productivity and seek mutually acceptable solutions for this issue.
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