Five Ways to Decrease Distractions in the Workplace

 In HR and Management Tips

Distractions endanger hard work and productivity. They can creep into the workdays of your employees and rob them of creative energy and motivation, decreasing output. The more you can minimize workplace distractions, the more you can help your workers stay focused on their tasks.

Five Ways to Help Minimize Distractions in the Workplace:

Restrict cell phone usage.

Yes, smartphones are incredibly convenient—you have the world at your fingertips. However, KNOWING you have this opportunity is incredibly tempting, and depending on the age of your staff, they may be accustomed to glancing at their phone at regular intervals. It’s best to create a cell phone policy. You could recommend employees only use their phones during breaks, or you could restrict them even further—for example, cell phones should be safely stowed in their desk, purse or pocket during the workday.

Block social media and personal email sites.

This is another common distraction, and employees with internet access may frequently pop into social media or a personal email account to check for updates. You can help your workers avoid this temptation by simply blocking access to sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Gmail.

Offer a multi-use office space.

Many employees enjoy team collaboration, but then prefer to return to their own space to get back to work. An office that provides both private cubicles in a quiet area, plus common spaces where employees can meet and brainstorm, gives workers the best of both worlds to help them get their work done.

Help employees reduce stress.

Often, workers seek distractions as a quick release from job stress. So, to help them minimize stress and stay focused, keep communication open. Check in with your workers each week to see how things are going and offer to help them manage and prioritize their workload. Keep an open-door policy so your workers can come to you with concerns that may be causing stress.

Allow flexible work spaces, when possible.

If your workers use laptops or can work from home, flexible work locations can give them an escape to the work environment where they feel the most comfortable. This can help improve focus and minimize distractions.

Reinforce your policies

This is especially true of cell phone and internet usage, or frequent chatting in “quiet areas.” When you see workers breaking the rules, simply remind them your policies are in place for a reason. In extreme cases, you should reinforce your words with disciplinary actions.

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