Your employees face more distractions than ever in the workplace. From constantly buzzing mobile devices and cluttered email inboxes to office gossip and busy meeting calendars, it is easy for your employees to become distracted from their core responsibilities.
In fact, according to a recent survey by Workplace Options, 53% of employees report that distractions in the workplace hinder their productivity and 42% of workers either arrive early to work or stay late to avoid such distractions. Jonathan Spira, chief analyst of the economic research and advisory firm Basex, estimates that U.S. companies lose roughly $650 billion per year to workplace distractions.
Given these astonishingly high percentages and dollar amounts, what should you do to help employees become less distracted…and more productive?
One effective strategy is to minimize interruptions. In regards to electronic communications, you can implement department wide information “holidays,” where the use of email and smart phones is restricted for a specified length of time, enabling your employees to better concentrate on each discrete task. If you have enough office space, you can also designate “now” offices that cubicle employees can use on-demand if they need a quiet place to complete an assignment, make a phone call, etc.
Another way to improve productivity is to outsource tasks that drain your employees’ time and efficiency. Consider the case of in-house document shredding. In order to shred a document, your employee must stop what he/she is doing, prepare the document for shredding by removing binders or paperclips and then feed the paper through the shredder. This task may only take five minutes, but if it occurs three times during an average work day, that translates to a loss of 15 minutes per day or 75 minutes per week.
If you outsource your shredding to a reputable document destruction provider, employees simply need to discard materials in the appropriate bins and continue their work day. Employees remain focused and your company continues its culture of high security – a winning model.