When companies introduce new and especially more open office concepts one of the main arguments for these concepts is the enhancement of internal communication between employees. Often neglected in such cases is that even modern work of our time does not only consist of communication but also needs some time for concentrated focus work.
Pretty interesting in that context is what kind of communication events cause the biggest distractions at all. Cornerstone – an american software company – recently published results from a survey named “The State of Workplace Productivity Report”. And this report contains some very interesting figures about workplace distractions.
Due to this report the most distracting types of communication are “unscheduled phone calls” as well as “impromptu visits (such as coworkers dropping by my desk without it being scheduled)“. Both types of communication events were named by 43 percent of the 2009 participants. Close behind with 33 percent indications were Emails.
30 percent of the respondents named alerts from social media channels, like those from Facebook of Linkedin notifying about status updates or new private messages as very distracting and 26 percent of the respondents said they feel bothered by new instant messages .
What can you do if you want to work focused without interruptions?
If you take a closer look to the single sources of disruptions the most obvious solution not getting distracted is quite clear: Switch it off. That is especially true for social media an email. Usually none of the messages arriving through these channels are that urgent and can be handled later. But also a phone or instant messaging software have buttons where they can be switched off or at least switched to silent mode.
Against unscheduled and impromptu distractions through colleagues it might be helpful to use headphones. So your colleagues can easily recognize that you are trying to be focused.
If your office space does not offer any options for withdrawal and focus work there is only one solution: go to your boss and ask him to get some help for a holistic workspace planning and of course to implement the developed concept. 😉