The Banes of Productivity: 5 Major Office Distractions

5_workplace_distractions_that_can_affect_productivity.jpgAs we kick off 2016, it’s important for your company to jumpstart passion and boost productivity. A good place to start is with a review of how your workplace environment affects employee performance.

Any knowledgeable management consultant recognises the crucial role of environment in productivity. To help you improve working conditions and make them more conducive for workplace efficiency and productivity, here are some key distractions that you should look closely at and manage for the good of your business.

Inconsiderate Co-workers

Whether they’re gossipers, micro-managing bosses, procrastinators or talkative officemates, every workplace has its share of human distractions. Manage these distractions by addressing them and creating policies that help reduce their impact on others.

While the office is typically seen as a second home by some employees, keep it professional by talking to your employees about the limitations of a shared and professional working space. Better yet, get it right from the start by creating a focused company culture through  hiring the right people.

Frequent and Unfocused Meetings

Meetings can help ensure alignment and a unified direction as a company. However, frequent meetings can also be culprits for wasted time, reduced productivity and broken work momentum. Instead of conducting frequent (and worse, unscheduled) meetings, plan out major meetings that are convenient for all those concerned. Set an agenda and stick to it.


Aside from workplace noise in factories, mines, production lines and other work environments, even ordinary office noise can cause major hiccups in your operations. The bane of open plan office spaces, noise is a major deterrent in getting things done. For increased productivity, try to create a quiet, relaxed  environment that allows people to focus on their work.

Messed Up Ergonomics

As a whole, ergonomics is about understanding and optimising interactions between humans and other elements of a system. From the prevention of muscle disorders and reducing injuries to avoiding stress and reducing overall occupational hazards and inconveniences, ergonomics should be a top priority for businesses as these are also factors that affect general productivity and performance.

Improve ergonomics within your workplace to remove physical burdens and inconveniences. Get started by optimising the following:

  • Get computers with UV ray filters, ergonomic keyboards and supportive wrist pads for mice
  • Choose chairs and office fixtures that provide good back and musculoskeletal support
  • Acquire and personalise desks depending on the needs of your employees (consider standing desks if it’s applicable for your work)
  • Identify issues in ergonomics and document efforts in addressing them.

Unfavorable Environment

Office temperatures, layout, lighting and other external factors can affect productivity. It’s a no-brainer: if it’s either too warm or cold in your office, your employees will constantly be distracted in addressing their discomfort instead of focusing on their work. The same goes with external factors such as lighting, layout, noise levels and even minor things such as office design, foot traffic, etc.

While not all external factors (and internal factors for that matter), can be managed, see to it that those that can be improved or controlled are dealt with accordingly. Your employees are essential to your business. See to it that the workplace you provide is beneficial in letting them fulfill their responsibilities.

Streamline your operations for optimum efficiency. Download our FREE eBook, The Operations Pillar and find out what aspects of your day-to-day operations need a little tune-up.

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