Are you having trouble concentrating in your workplace due to distractions? Few jobs offer the freedom to focus on one task at a time, however there could well be unnecessary distractions that are making work harder for you and your employees. Here are just a few ways that you can tackle distractions in the workplace and improve workflow and productivity.
Take steps to reduce noise
Some work environments are naturally noisy such as kitchens and construction sites and nightclubs. Offices have no reason to be loud, but some can be due to the whir of machinery and the buzz of people talking to one another. Open-plan offices have become popular as a way of encouraging team communication and cutting costs, but these environments are often very distracting. Introducing a quiet zone to help people concentrate could be worthwhile. As for loud machinery, it could be worth buying machines with a Quiet Mark rating. Sites like Handy Dryers have quiet dryers for bathrooms, whilst you can often get quiet PCs and printers nowadays. You could even introduce headsets for each PC, which can be used for making phonecalls and listening to music quieter.
Too much clutter has also been proven to be distracting. If your workplace is a mess of files and machinery, it could be worth taking the time to declutter. Start with the stock cupboard and then tackle areas. You might be able to cut down on clutter by going paperless and making all your records digital. This might also allow you to get rid of printer and filing cabinets that are taking up space.
Reduce interruptions from clients
Being interrupted by phonecalls and impromptu meetings can be incredibly frustrating. It’s best to get into a habit of scheduling these events in where possible. Get new customers to communicate by email first and then schedule in phonecalls at non-busy times. You could even outsource a phone answering service such as Moneypenny to take care of incoming calls and filter the important ones to you. As for meetings, schedule these in rather than letting clients wonder freely into your office. You could even find a local coffee bar to host these meetings in so that they don’t have to come to the office at all.
Lay down rules on smartphone use
Many of us can distracted by our phones, reading personal text and opening social media notifications. Some work environments have put a ban on phones. This may not be possible work has to be done on these phones and could anger employees. A more reasonable rule could be to schedule times when smartphones aren’t allowed to be in use, or tell people to mute notifications.
Let employees work from home
Many of us think of home as an incredibly distracting environment, but studies have actually found that people work more productively from home than they do in the office. This could be because there isn’t the distraction of colleagues as well as the pressures of being watched. You can still communicate with employees via instant messaging and video-communication and all files can be shared on the cloud allowing anyone with a password to access them.