Offices are where all of your company’s great ideas turn into reality. Brainstorm sessions, tight deadlines, power lunches. It all happens here. But there’s a fine line between an office the encourages creativity and ideas, and one that’s too distracting. And while everyone has different ways of focusing, there are some major office distractions that you need to avoid.
Flickr user avrene
1. Alerts about emails or chat messages
Most offices use some sort of internal chatroom to send message back and forth (Skype, HipChat, WhatsApp, etc.) which always have an option to turn on some sort of audible ping when a new message comes in. While they might be useful to communicate, these noises can also be very distracting for people trying to concentrate around you. If you’re having an extended conversation, turn off the sound or pop in some headphones.
2. Too many meetings
Meetings are kind of inevitable in any office, but there’s only so many meetings you can have before they go from helpful to distracting. Going in an out of meetings makes it difficult to focus on individual work, and having to switch mentally back and forth can just end up frustrating you – and won’t make you much of an asset in the meeting itself!
3. Noisy colleagues
While it’s a good thing for colleagues to get along and chat, some employees can take it too far. Constant interruptions for gossiping, complaining or just talking about things not related to work only make it harder to stay focused, and can even create resentment between colleagues. While we’re not advocating that you sneak around waiting to catch employees talking, limiting non work-related chatting to lunch or coffee breaks makes a big difference.
4. Cell phone calls
Sure, sometimes emergencies happen, and employees need to take calls during work. It happens. But simply taking calls anytime isn’t acceptable – especially if an employee stays at his or her desk and talks, disrupting everyone around them. If a call is urgent, it should be taken outside the office – and if it isn’t it can wait!
5. Constant email chain messages
Emailing is here to stay, at least for now. But everyone know how annoying it can be to be included on a mass email chain discussing something that could really be kept between two or three people. Encourage your employees to really consider who needs to be on an email chain – if you don’t need to hit “Reply All,” don’t!
6. Uncomfortable desk setup
It might not sound that important, but how comfortable employees are sitting at their desks plays a big part in their productivity – especially if most work is done sitting at computers. Investing in some ergonomic chairs might just pay off more than you might think. The more comfortable they are sitting down to work, the more employees will be able to focus on that work.
7. Lack of snacks!
This is a big one. Keeping up energy throughout the work day is extremely important, and having snacks that are delicious but also better for you can make a big difference in an employee’s attitude and output. Having something on hand besides the vending machine fare is crucial!
What other office distractions drive you nuts? Tell us in the comments below! And if you want delicious all-natural snacks in your office every day? Sign up for a Love With Food office plan today!