Managing Time: 3 Employee Distractions that You Can Control

Maximizing productivity and profitability understandably involves getting the most out of your available resources. Human talent is one of your company’s most critical resources, but your workers may be less productive than they could be because of various distractions. Some distractions stem from their personal lives and are not under your control. However, many distractions are related to the environment, and they can be controlled in various ways. These are some of the top distracting elements in workplaces and what you can do to address them head-on and boost productivity as a result.

The Climate

Your employees must have a comfortable work environment, or they may have difficulty taking their mind off of how warm or chilly they are. It can be difficult to please all employees in this area because temperature preferences may vary. However, you can schedule AC service and heating system maintenance periodically to ensure that the HVAC system is working properly. Air vents can also be installed to prevent strong streams of air from directly striking employees at their desks. Annual maintenance and replacing air filters regularly may also alleviate indoor allergy symptoms, which can also be problematic and distracting for many workers.

Bothersome Noises

Employees may typically become accustomed to background noise, but harsh or sudden sounds can be bothersome. You may buffer some of these sounds by carefully designing your workplace. Some workstation dividers have acoustic-buffering properties. Another idea is to set desk phone volumes at a low level and to play soothing background music softly. Instrumental music may be a better option than music with lyrics. If external noises are problematic, installing high-quality installing and upgrading your office windows may be effective. These steps may also lower utility bills as a side benefit.

Frequent Meetings

Your company’s typical work activities may also be distracting. A common complaint that workers have is that they spend too much of their day in meetings and do not have enough time to tackle items on their to-do list. A smart idea is to only schedule critical meetings, and only invite employees to the meetings if they are directly impacted. In addition, set an agenda for the meeting. Assign someone to monitor the meeting and to moderate its pace. Afternoon meetings may be more productive than meetings scheduled earlier in the day.

While these are common distractions in many workplaces, your workplace may be unique. Consider polling your employees to determine what their top distractions are. Then, take action to progressively improve the environment as needed.