Most people feel overwhelmed at work, experience stress, and have difficulties staying focused on their daily tasks. This is because our brains have to deal with huge amounts of information–news, blog posts, working emails, social media notifications, and text messages.
Office workers commute their attention from one device to another–between smartphones, tablets, and laptops. In the long run, this damages their abilities to concentrate and reduces their productivity.
Cutting off social media and monitoring Internet isn’t going to increase work rates among your employees. You need to come up with efficient methods, to keep your staff focused and motivated to meet deadlines.
Check out these useful tips to cut down workplace distractions. These tips will keep your employees happy and satisfied with their jobs:
Be in Line with The Circadian Rhythm
Circadian rhythms defends our need to rest in the afternoon. In this context, you can’t expect your employees to be efficient all day long.
According to this theory, we are more productive close to midday and late in the afternoon. These are the best hours for organizing meetings, and for assigning difficult tasks.
On the other side, we can’t stay focused very early in the morning, midday and late in the evening. During these hours, it’s easy to lose concentration and get distracted by Facebook notifications and news alerts.
Yet, most employees use the first part of the day for answering emails and organizing their activities. You need to change these working habits to make your team more productive.
Encourage your staff to focus on creative tasks in the morning. Otherwise, they’ll continue to waste the most productive hours clearing their inboxes, leaving the hard work for the afternoon, when levels of energy are low.
Use Technology for A Consistent Workflow
Communication inside the team is essential, but it’s easy to get distracted when dealing with so many messages, phone calls, and incoming emails. Help your employees to organize their daily activities using apps or business management software. Technology can keep your staff on the right path, by putting all information in a single place. Furthermore, all team members can see modifications and updates in real time. They won’t get distracted any more by notification emails every time someone finishes a task.
Consider inventory software or e-invoicing software to cut back on tedious tasks. Your employees are likely to get distracted doing these tasks since they tend to be boring–and it ends up taking them longer to complete.
Whether it’s a software that manages customer relationships or organizes intern projects, technology reduces the possibility for human errors and makes communication easier between departments. Plus, you have the option to keep track of progress right from your computer.
Encourage Your Team Members to Take Walks
The typical office environment is full of distractions–phone calls, computers, or colleagues looking for some small talk between tasks. It’s hard to stay focused on your activity when there’s so much happening around your desk.
That’s why it’s useful to let your employees go outside when they’re in need of a change. Walking helps mental activity, generating better answers and solutions for any issue or challenge.
Walking around the office while talking on the phone is another good way to maintain concentration during working hours. Make sure the office is set up with enough space for your employees to move during the day.
Give Your Staff the Option to Work from Home
With the rise of millennials, 9 to 5 jobs are less appealing. Employees experience additional stress and don’t like being tied to an office all day long anymore. This way, they use any distraction to escape boredom.
Leave your employees the freedom to organize their working hours, where this is possible. Remote workers are happier and more productive than employees who aren’t able to work from home. Before letting your employees do this, set clear goals and objectives and discuss them inside the team. Then let members choose whether to work from the office or from home once or twice a week.
If you use this strategy, make sure you communicate with your employees on a daily basis. Set milestones, ask for updates, and measure all progress to make sure your team will be able to meet deadlines.
Allow Your Employees to Take Short Breaks during the Day
Not all employees can work from home, some of them need to be in the office every day. Yet, this doesn’t mean they’re going to be active from 9 to 5.
Breaks are essential to maintain concentration during working hours. Five minutes of rest between 25-minute chunks of uninterrupted work will help your employees when they get back to work. The 5-minute gap between small tasks is long enough to allow the brain to relax, but still short enough to keep your attention to the topic. It’s what specialists call the “Pomodoro technique”.
Employees can use these five minutes to exercise, drink some water, or a short neck massage. After four 25-minute chunks, they should take a longer break, when they can check their smartphones, answer emails, or update their social media.
Help Them so They Can Help You
You can’t completely remove distractions from the office. People come and go, phones calls, and “urgent” emails are always going to be there to interrupt a meeting. You can try to keep things under control by leaving your employees to organize their daily activities according to their needs.
Encourage them to try new techniques and to change bad working habits. By doing this, you are able to see what works best for your employees–making your employees work efficiently as possible.