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5 Ways Companies Can Reduce Workplace Distractions


By Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool

As a business owner, you want the most out of your employees. But if they're too distracted to focus, their productivity is apt to suffer, which means you won't be getting your money's worth from them.

And while it's easy to point a finger at workers and insist that they shape up performance-wise, the fact of the matter is that your office environment might be contributing to the fact that they're frequently sidetracked. With that in mind, here are five effective means of reducing workplace distractions, according to online learning platform Udemy.


1. Allow flexible schedules and remote work

Flexible work arrangements are a solid means of employee retention. They allow make for fewer distractions on the job. Imagine your office is arranged open-concept style, where everyone sits on top of one another. If you have a group of workers who need deep concentration, they're unlikely to get it amid a constant backdrop of chatter. On the other hand, if you let those same workers do their jobs from home as needed, they won't be distracted by their peers. Another option? Let workers alter their hours so they're in the office when it's less busy. This, too, will lead to fewer distractions, thereby making it easier for employees to do their jobs.


2. Establish quiet spaces in the office

Noise is a major contributing factor on the distraction front, but designating quiet spaces in different areas of your office can help. This way, workers deep in thought can set up their laptops and plug away in those no-talking zones, while those less bothered by outside noise can stay at their desks and be social while doing their jobs.


3. Provide employees with time management training

A big part of managing one's time successfully is knowing how to identify and fight back against distractions. A good 37% of workers feel that if they were to receive time management training, they'd be less likely to stray, so it could be a worthwhile investment.


4. Set guidelines on appropriate noise levels

Some degree of background noise is natural for an office setting. But some folks take that concept to a discourteous extreme, and drag their colleagues down in the process. While you can't expect your employees to sit silently at their desks without uttering a peep, you can establish guidelines on appropriate levels of noise for a workplace environment. That way, the data analyst in the corner with a tendency to blare his radio might turn the volume down a few notches.


5. Institute no-meeting days

Though meetings are often a necessary part of conducting business, they can serve as a major distraction for workers who would rather use that time to hammer away on projects or finish up assignments. And while you can't eliminate meetings from your employees' schedules completely, you can set up a policy that prohibits meetings from occurring on certain days. This way, employees are guaranteed longer stretches of uninterrupted work time.

The more distracted your employees are, the less output you'll get out of them. If you follow the above steps to remedy the problem of workplace distractions, you might enjoy a notable uptick in output.



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