It's not unusual for workers to find themselves dissatisfied with certain aspects of their jobs. For some folks, working late really gets under their skin. For others, it's being micromanaged by their bosses. But here's one surprising thing that turns off 34% of today's employees: workplace distractions.
According to online learning platform Udemy, a solid third of workers say that constant distractions make them like their jobs less. And 22% of millennials and Gen Zers insist that perpetual distractions are what prevent them from furthering their careers and achieving their true potential.
But despite the ubiquity of distractions in workplace settings, most employees who feel sidetracked by them don't raise the issue with their managers. If your office lends to distractions, which it probably does, here are a few things you can do to help mitigate the problem -- and help reengage your employees in the process.
1. Allow employees to work from home
It's hard to focus on key tasks amid a backdrop of perpetual chatter and noise. If you have workers who are struggling with concentration (or lack thereof) in the office, being more flexible as to where they do their work might enable them to perform better, and feel better about their output. Specifically, allowing employees to work from home is a good way to afford them a noise-free environment, and one in which they won't face constant interruptions from well-meaning colleagues looking to chat.
2. Set up quiet areas within the office
Just as many commuter trains have a quiet car, where passengers are expected to keep their volume to a minimum, so too can your office benefit from designated quiet areas. This way, employees in need of silence can set up shop and get through their work without having to stress about disruptions.
3. Teach employees to say no to interruptions
Some workplace distractions are unavoidable. After all, those who work in an open office setting can't expect their colleagues to be continuously silent. Others, however, like email and instant messages, can be eliminated if employees are taught that it's OK to not be perpetually available. A constantly dinging inbox is one of the greatest sources of employee distractions out there, and companywide instant messaging systems are a close second. The problem is that workers today often feel compelled to stop what they're doing and respond to communication immediately, thereby causing them to lose their train of thought and get thrown off course. If you let your teams know that they're allowed to be unavailable for stretches of time, it'll lend to fewer distractions, and better morale.
There you have it: Workplace distractions don't just impede productivity; they also lead to lower levels of employee satisfaction. If you'd rather help your workers feel good about the job they're doing, take a stand against workplace distractions by making it easier for employees to avoid them.
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