Everyone has had at least one bad day at the office when he couldn’t get any work done, mainly due to interruptions. While it is true that most of the things found in an office building are there to help people finish their tasks faster and more efficiently, at times they also represent the source of distractions.
Let’s review the top 10 most common things that hinder you from getting work done at a good speed.
1. The overall office environment
What most employers fail to understand is that without providing a comfortable office environment for their employees, they should never expect performance. Simple things, such as the chairs you select for the office area, are enough to make some employees sit uncomfortably or experience aches, which will inevitably distract them from the task at hand. In addition to office furniture, the temperature and lighting are two other important factors that decide the comfort level and often lead to headaches, tired eyes or increase the frequency of breaks.
2. Noise is the arch nemesis of easily-distracted employees
All people have problems concentrating on the tasks that need to be done when they are tired and start hearing the conversations of their colleagues, noises coming from the street, one-sided conversations, etc. The easiest way to deal with the distracting noise would be to close the door or window to your office. Does this mean that employees who don’t work in an office are doomed? No, and in fact they can mask the noise by using a professional set of headphones or placing a white noise machine in their vicinity.
3. Unexpected or rude visits
There is nothing more annoying than the situations when your colleagues decide to take a break and start chatting right next to your desk. What do you do when you are trying to play the role of the nice co-worker that everyone likes? If that irritates you a lot, then you can take a small break with them as well, time during which you can calm down and explain to them nicely that they are distracting you. If you prefer a more radical solution, then you can always try to get the point across quickly and finish the conversation faster. The latter idea is usually very efficient for the times when you receive an unexpected visit from one of your clients.
4. The truth is that everyone hates meetings
In some industries, meetings (both scheduled and unexpected) are a necessary evil. However, the reality is that frequent meetings are also a main cause of employees’ distractions as they practically make it impossible to allocate sufficient time for finishing actual work tasks. Luckily, this issue can be easily solved if you book meetings and tasks in your calendar and stick to it.
5. Bad consequences don’t mean the end of the world
More often than not, people feel compelled to answer the phone or reply to an email because otherwise they expect negative consequences. But, let’s be honest for a second: while a partner or client is expecting a fast response, that does not mean you should answer him right away. When you can answer immediately, do so. However, when you have something to do, then rest assured nothing bad will happen if you call back in a couple of hours.