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It’s estimated that workers lose an average of 2.1 hours per day to distractions. And it takes an average of 24 to refocus after an interruption according to study data we collected from the University of California, Duke University, and NYtimes.

In a five-day work week, that adds up to over 10 hours of lost productivity. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of the distractions in your workplace and take steps to eliminate or at least minimize them.

Key Finding on Workplace Distractions Statisitcs

  • Employees can take roughly 24 minutes and fifteen seconds to refocus after getting distracted while working
  • Over a third of Gen Z and millennials report spending at least two hours checking their phones on a working day
  • 75 percent of employers report losing not less than two hours of productivity daily due to the employees getting distracted
  • 67 percent of employees confess that spending a lot of time in meetings always distracts them from accomplishing their job
  • Cell phones are the major cause of distraction and can reduce productivity at work by 55%
  • A 5-minute email interruption can lead to  a task taking one-third more time than when you don’t receive a mail
  • Striving to concentrate on a variety of stuff at the same time lowers productivity by 40 percent

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How long does it take to refocus after an interruption?

So, how long does it take to refocus after an interruption?

It takes an average of 24 minutes to refocus after an interruption according to data we collected from the University of California, Duke University, and NYtimes.

So if you’re looking for ways to increase your productivity, start by eliminating or reducing distractions in your work environment.

And remember, it’s not just about avoiding distractions yourself – talk to your coworkers about creating a distraction-free zone too!

What percentage of people are distracted at work?

On average, 84.4% of people are distracted at work according to data we collected from Clockify, Teamstage, Inc, Businessnewsdaily, and Flexjobs.

The most common distractions are email (26%), phone calls/texts (55%), co-workers (27%), and The Internet (41%).

The good news is that there are ways to overcome these distractions. For example, you can turn off your email notifications, screen notifications on your phone, and set office hours during which you’re available to talk to co-workers.

You can also use noise-canceling headphones or earplugs to block out noise distractions.

How many hours per work day are lost due to distraction?

It’s estimated that the average worker is interrupted or distracted 11 times, which leads to a loss of 2.1 hours per work day according report publish in WorkPlaceTrends.

That means that over an 8-hour work day, more than 25% of the time is lost to distractions. And it’s not just the amount of time that’s lost—it’s also the quality of work that suffers.

Employers are beginning to realize how much money they’re losing due to distractions, and many are instituting policies and programs to try to reduce the number of time employees spend on non-work activities.

For example, some companies are providing quiet spaces for workers who need to get focused work done, and others are giving employees more freedom to design their workdays.

1. Employees can take roughly 23minutes and fifteen seconds to refocus after getting distracted while working 

(FastCompany; ICS)

This doesn’t imply you can not take a break while at work. Remember, breaks are very healthy and can even make you extra productive. However, if you have strict deadlines you’ll need to limit or have no breaks. 

Allow yourself to concentrate by doing away with the various distractions. And if an interruption is related to the task you are undertaking, it can be advantageous. This is because it encourages you to focus. 

Besides, other kinds of distractions such as talking to a colleague about irrelevant stuff can lead to you losing concentration.

2. Over a third of Gen Z and millennials report spending at least two hours checking their phones on a working day

(Udemy)

It’s sad how lots of millennials and Gen Z misuse their gadgets. Furthermore, they are also social media addicts. The phones have been a problem and an unreasonable getaway to consume rather than a tool to stimulate productivity. 

And as the whole world is going mobile, it is important to look for ways to control the way you use yours. 

3. 75 percent of employers report losing not less than two hours of productivity daily due to the employees getting distracted

(Career Builder)

Normally, even minor distractions can result in workers taking a lot of time to finalize a given task. Apart from this, the quality of work can also diminish. Take note that anytime an employee gets distracted, they have to divert back their attention to the given job. 

Moreover, when they encounter reduced productivity, they can feel so down. This can then impact negatively on productivity. Besides, when distraction isn’t addressed to lower interruptions, resentment, and tension at the workplace, a lot can happen. 

For instance, the organization’s culture and the relationship between the workers can be a concern.

4. Cell phones are the major cause of distraction and can reduce productivity at work by 55%  

(CareerBuilder)

Truth be told, phones aren’t productivity tools for companies, but instead a source of distraction. Even though their introduction made many believe they would boost worker productivity, this isn’t the case. Employees cannot do their jobs well enough when they continuously look at their devices for social media feeds and texts. 

Furthermore, when you have to do this kind of multitasking, it can lead to the quantity and quality of work declining.

5. 67 percent of employees confess that spending a lot of time in meetings always distracts them from accomplishing their job

(Korn Ferry)

Meetings are not that bad, right? Though the way workers prepare and lead them can lower productivity at times. Moreover, inviting the wrong individuals to the meetings is one of the popular factors that affect productivity. 

Some who attend the meeting end up as an obligation and they don’t contribute anything. If you want to know if the gathering is worth it, you need to set a clear goal. Then examine those who need to be there to achieve the set objective. 

It is vital to ensure the attendees influence the outcome and also bestow value.

6. Interruptions of around 3 seconds can double the rate of making errors in a workplace

(MSU)

When workers are disrupted abruptly and then get back to their assignment, they’re not likely to work the same way. This is because short interruptions can make you feel confused and don’t resume on the same note. Moreover, in the era of smartphones, it implies when you get an email or a call, you won’t have to reply. 

And it’s because the duration taken to silence your gadget is enough to interfere with how you think and work. This can result in serious problems and errors in the medical sector among others.

7. 80% of the employed adults experience stress related to the kind of job they do  

(GlobeNewswire)

At times, distraction at work can affect your mental health. According to statistics, more than fifteen million Americans experience anxiety in their places of work. And with that said, the levels of productivity also get affected. 

Moreover, half of the workers believe anxiety or stress deter them from performing their duties as required. More than 50 percent acknowledge stress impacts their relationship with colleagues. Still, an employee’s safety is very important and should not be underrated in any way.

8. 43 percent of the mid-career professionals aged between thirty-five to 44 years say the number one productivity killer is the talkative coworkers 

(Mavenlink)

Office setting whether an open discussion area or low walled cube needs to contribute to collaboration and teamwork. Even though when you talk to a colleague over a wall you can have a lot more to discuss, this can still result in distractions. Some research has shown that it can impact the productivity of an employee.

9. A 5-minute email interruption can lead to  a task taking one-third much time than when completing without the breaks

(ResearchGate)

Sending emails is among the most crucial components of communication in a business. Hence sharing vital information between colleagues is easier. However, when you continuously check your inbox for new emails, this habit becomes a distraction at work. 

You should realize that an email was not intended to be a tool that needs continual attention or a dialogue. However, it has become a hindrance to productivity. More than 50 percent of workers allege they affect the quality of work.

10. American firms lose 399 billion dollars every year due to the badly organized meetings 

(Normadesign)

Reports indicate that wasting time is the main reason for workers being distracted and also unproductive. Firms do spend more than thirty hours per month in meetings that have no substantial value. Moreover, 71 percent of the workers mismanage time every single week. 

And thus, of all kinds of workplace distractions, the unwanted meeting is such a nuisance. It is one of the most apparent examples of productivity loss.

11. 76 percent of employees prefer staying away from the office anytime they wish to focus and do some important tasks

(Flex Jobs)

Half of the workers prefer working in their residences. They do this because they believe there are fewer workplace politics and fewer coworkers’ interruptions. Moreover, if you stay alone, you’ll not need to be concerned about being distracted by roommates. 

On the other hand, if you are sharing a room with others whether families or partners, you are likely to get distracted.  There are also pets and they may require your attention.

12. Striving to concentrate on a variety of stuff at the same time lowers productivity by 40 percent 

(Research)

Close to all jobs around the globe need a little bit of multitasking. Though having to manage the duration provided for every assignment can be problematic. According to reports, while we may believe our experience and skill can help carry out different tasks, this isn’t right. 

And it’s because the brain can only do a single thing at a time. Thus, as you anticipate getting a lot accomplished by trying to tackle numerous tasks, you only get affected. Furthermore, you won’t have the space to think and work creatively as you make more errors.

What are some distractions in the workplace?

There are a number of things that can cause distractions in the workplace. Here are some of the most common:

• Personal issues: Whether it’s worrying about personal finances, health problems, or family drama, personal issues can take a toll on your productivity at work. If you can’t seem to shake them, it might be time to talk to a counselor or therapist.

• Technology: It’s hard to stay focused when you’re constantly checking your email, social media, or text messages. If you can’t seem to break the habit, try turning off notifications on your devices or keeping them out of sight.

• noise: Whether it’s co-workers chatting, phones ringing, or outside noise, too much noise can be a major distraction. If you’re struggling to concentrate, try wearing headphones or working in a quiet area.

• Clutter: A messy desk or work area can be a big distraction. Take some time to tidy up and you might find it easier to focus.

Ways to improve focus and concentration

It’s no secret that distractions can kill productivity. According to a study by the University of California, Irvine, employees who are interrupted every three minutes are less productive than those who are uninterrupted.

There are several ways to improve focus and concentration. Here are some tips:

• Take breaks: If you’re struggling to concentrate, take a five-minute break. Get up and stretch, grab a cup of coffee, or step outside for some fresh air.

• Set limits: Whether it’s setting a time limit for checking social media or limiting the number of times you check your email, setting limits can help you stay focused.

• Find a comfortable spot: If you’re struggling to focus in your office chair, try working at a standing desk or sitting on a yoga ball.

• Get organized: A cluttered work area can be a major distraction. Take some time to tidy up and you might find it easier to focus.

• Take a walk: Sometimes the best way to get your mind off of work is to take a break and go for a walk. Getting some fresh air and moving your body can help you come back refreshed and ready to focus.

The benefits of a focused mind

A focused mind is more productive, efficient, and effective. When you’re able to focus on the task at hand, you’re able to work more quickly and efficiently.

You’re also less likely to make mistakes. And when you’re not constantly interrupted or distracted, you’re able to achieve a higher level of concentration and achieve better results.

Final Thought

With the statistics, much needs to be done to deal with distractions at work. This habit can affect your career life without you noticing. However, even if the consequences are profound, you need to find a way to avoid getting distracted. And thus, you’ll enhance your productivity. 

Sources

FastCompany 

ICS

Udemy

Flex Jobs

Career Builder

Korn Ferry

MSU

GlobeNewswire

Mavenlink

ResearchGate

Normadesign

Research 

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